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Naomi M

Vaganova Academy Boys Documentary

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A Japanese documentary following 4 boys at Vaganova Academy, class of Nikolai Tsiskaridze will be viewable live at NHK world.

Future Prince of Ballet!
The Vaganova Ballet Academy Part 2

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/special/episode/201909220810/

 

Sorry I should have informed earlier, but the second half of this 2 hour documentary will be streamed in 4 hours with a couple of replays. 

I strongly recommend this documentary as it shows how Tsiskaridze coaches his students, and the 4 students are indeed very promising.

One of the boys, Arron Osawa-Horowitz was brought up in London and was a student at Royal Ballet School.   He has joined the Mariinsky. 

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Excuse me but how to watch NHK world-JAPAN in the UK? Will it be streamed online?

Edited by Amelia
the second question added

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1 hour ago, Amelia said:

Excuse me but how to watch NHK world-JAPAN in the UK? Will it be streamed online?

Yes it is streamed online. 

Access the above URL and there is a button on the right "Watch Live" when it becomes time. 

00.10, 06.10, 11.10, 18:10 on Sunday for Part 2, UK time .

 

Arron Osawa Horowitz also write on his public facebook about how to watch it.

https://www.facebook.com/aaronosawahorowitz99/

Edited by Naomi M
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1 hour ago, Naomi M said:

Yes it is streamed online. 

Access the above URL and there is a button on the right "Watch Live" when it becomes time. 

00.10, 06.10, 11.10, 18:10 on Sunday for Part 2, UK time .

 

Arron Osawa Horowitz also write on his public facebook about how to watch it.

https://www.facebook.com/aaronosawahorowitz99/

 

I really enjoyed watching Part 2 of this fascinating documentary - huge thanks to you Naomi for alerting me to it :) 

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Thank you, Naomi. It was fascinating to watch boys at their exam -- auditions -- graduation concerts.

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I am glad Anna and Amelia were able to watch it :) 

Hope it will get replayed on NHK World as here we had several repeat broadcasts because of the popularity of the program 

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I can't recommend this highly enough - absolutely fascinating and frank insight. 

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I loved just a hint of The Trocks too from Tsiskaridze in a snippet of Nikya's variation from act l of La Bayadere. Very funny.

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Thank you for these links - wonderful programmes. Thank you! 

 

I'm wondering how the young Kirril will develop - he danced beautifully, in the exam, I thought, while clearly quite ill. And his truculence was both frustrating but heart-breaking. They are so young and work so hard, and have to be so driven.

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Thanks so much Naomi for the links to these videos ....such a roller coaster ride!! 

I didn't think I could take this again after last year watching when Oscar Frame graduated from Tsiskaridze's class! 

But this film has much more of a story to it and following through with the Company auditions and graduation performances was great viewing.

Of course Kirill's story is the most interesting obviously coming from a less well off background and I could hardly bear to watch the exam day with all that going on though it is totally exhausting for all of them and how they get through four hours of it I have no idea....gruelling isn't a strong enough word for it!

I wasn't so sure Kirill was just generally lazy .....I felt he always looked a bit tired and wondered if he had a bit of a weak constitution for something like ballet ...lacking a bit of natural energy ....only time will tell.

 

I felt particularly pleased for Kirill when he said he had got into the Bolshoi but at the same time worry a bit for him because I think it will be tough for him there .....he will need to find a good teacher that's for sure though he has beautiful lines and could make a very elegant dancer....but it's a big Company. 

It was great to see the other boys all getting their places and especially for Marco the Finnish boy who had had a few rejections before the good news. 

It will be nice to see how these boys get on from now on.

 

There was one bit which annoyed me nothing to do with the boys but showing the fourth year girls ...two of which failed because they were deemed too big....which was totally ridiculous of course ....and it did seem to me that these girls are given some individual weight threshold that they must not be over as telling that girl she was 5kg too big was soul destroying to me and I can see why she complained. She could have re-sit in a month but instead left a month later .....I guess she didn't lose the 5kg 😢

 

But anyway two very absorbing films and you can't help but love Tsiskaridze ...and great clips of him dancing...he certainly has the charisma thing in spades.

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Great viewing, thank you!

What an insight. Gorgeous dancing.

 

7 hours ago, LinMM said:

There was one bit which annoyed me nothing to do with the boys but showing the fourth year girls ...two of which failed because they were deemed too big....which was totally ridiculous of course ....and it did seem to me that these girls are given some individual weight threshold that they must not be over as telling that girl she was 5kg too big was soul destroying to me and I can see why she complained. She could have re-sit in a month but instead left a month later .....I guess she didn't lose the 5kg 😢.

 

Yes, LinMM - that was difficult to watch.  Part 1 15:00 "You have a month to  get down to your ideal weight.  Do everything you can to lose weight."

Yikes! And maybe she did lose the weight but her look/bone structure just didn't fit their aesthetic.

 

It's like Western schools before the HR department, legal recourse etc landed!  

Nikolai Tsiskaridze also spoke his mind without a filter. e.g. He excluded Kirrill from the graduation performance and snubbed him saying. 

"Lazybones" in passing (Part 2: 39:00)

It wasn't said but probably Kirrill broke the rules when he reached out independently to get an audition with the Bolshoi (?) Maybe this was the last straw after the support he had been given.

 

Anyway I expect things are very similar in Western schools - just more implicit messages rather than explicit.

Edited by DD Driver
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7 hours ago, Amelia said:

On the 25 October at the Mariinsky Theatre Mikhail (Misha) Barkidjidja will dance Conrad in Le Corsaire.

What an excellent start!

https://www.mariinsky.ru/en/playbill/playbill/2019/10/25/2_1900

 

 

Wow! He is very talented.

I feel that, if Kirrill is able to build up his strength, he is the one who will be the artist.

Thanks to everyone who drew attention to this fascinating pair of films. As the 2019/20 ballet season gets going here, it was a timely reminder of how very hard ballet dancers have to work as students and every day of their lives.

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7 hours ago, capybara said:

 

Wow! He is very talented.

I feel that, if Kirrill is able to build up his strength, he is the one who will be the artist.

Thanks to everyone who drew attention to this fascinating pair of films. As the 2019/20 ballet season gets going here, it was a timely reminder of how very hard ballet dancers have to work as students and every day of their lives.

Yes I agree, such lovely lines.

I honestly think Tsiskaridze is a bit of a bully, excluding Kirill from the graduation performance - I mean how petty / personal is that? It certainly wasn't professional. If Kirill was good enough to complete his training without being asked to leave, and also gain 4 in his final exam, despite being I'll, he was surely good enough to be in the graduation performance. It appears Kirill's successful audition at the Bolshoi was something Tsiskaridze couldn't accept, was it because Kirill independently contacted the Bolshoi or was is because it's Tsiskaridze's old company? I wish him and all the young men successful careers. And Tsiskaridze? Please try to nurture and encourage rather than pick favourites and bully others!

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Just  a reminder that Tsiskaridze has seen a number of his 'top' students move on to the Bolshoi in recent years.

The teaching style is, I understand, not uncommon in Russia. Tough love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by capybara
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I'm not sure what it really meant that he reached out independently ( Kirill) to the Bolshoi.

Formerly I thought that the students had to be invited to audition by the various Companies.

Oscar who got on at least reasonably well with Tsiskaridze ( he was a hard worker which Tsiskaridze seems to like) also went to audition at the Bolshoi but if my memory is correct he was invited to audition .......OR ...I'm not sure if some of the boys from last year ....who all got a 5 in the exam ....were offered contracts after the exam by some Companies. ( Oscar had three Russian Companies interested in him including the Mariinsky) but I'm not sure if he auditioned for all these three. It was the Rep that attracted him to the Bolshoi. 

 

Of course there were other boys in that final group who the film did not concentrate on ...and on my Facebook page yesterday one of those dancers has also got a contract with the Mariinsky. 

I think Tsiskaridze is a bit of a task master and I'm sure there are days when the students are a bit scared of him but on other days he is probably kinder than he came across in the film....of course there's the "Drama Queen" element to his personality but before those exams I think he is extra driven because of the reflection on himself as a teacher and he genuinely wants the boys to do well. 

 

I did did think he was particularly hard on Kirill .....I wonder if he could see the potential but Kirill just wasn't producing it for him when he wanted him to. It did seem a bit mean to not let him take part in the Graduation performance.....I was hoping he was going to give in at the last minute.....what about Kirill's family ....didn't they deserve to see their son in this? But we don't know the full story at the moment .....he did have a role in the Show initially but got fired from it ....so some things are hidden.

I hope he didn't take it out on him because he was the only one who got a 4 probably but I don't think so as Kirill showed some character in keeping going when he obviously had the flu or something similar and I'm sure Tsiskaridze would have appreciated this. 

 

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Tsiskaridze didn't seem like a bully to me.  You could tell by the way the boys reacted to him (and called him by a nickname) that they all had a good relationship - but he rightly has extremely high standards.

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Naomi M, Thank you! Very good. The English subtitles translate the spoken words only approximately.

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I really enjoyed watching this film because it portrayed different types of future dancers, various problems experienced by them and different attitudes to their profession.
Assoluta, I agree with you that the translation was rather approximate and some phrases have not been translated at all. In my view, it did a disservice to the Principal who was explaining very clearly why he was unhappy with Kirill’s work. He said in Part I: “I love him as a child but how this connects to ballet? Yes, it is obvious that he has a beautiful physique, he is slender but he does’t have tenacity to grow as a dancer. Any professional will notice that he doesn’t work hard and never will…” 
In Part II: “…He can not do anything. He cannot dance. He gives nothing to ballet. He lacks coordination and doesn’t try to develope it. He has no wish to dance something from the beginning to the end and doesn’t work on it. He can not partner girls at all. He can not be put in the corps or given a solo. He can not manage any jumps which are necessary for men in ballet.”
When excluded from the graduation performance, Kirill remarked: “I am not interested. I don’t care.” However, in Part I he was justifying the Principal: “He shouts a lot but he does it because he loves us all. He is not shouting for the sake of it but because he wants to get the result.”
And Tsiskaridze said the same: “I want them to learn it not just for the exam but for their lives (careers), they will need it.”
How good, maryrosesatonapin, that your impression of the relationship between the teacher and his students is not based on unproved assumptions but on attentive observation of their behavior. The broad-brush, random translation was omitting many details and the spirit of Tsiskaridze’s remarks was lost. He calls the boys, including Kirill, by diminutive and affectionate names. He calls Aaron -- Arosha, Aroshen’ka; Marco — Markulya, Markulen’ka, etc.
He said to Marco: “Tomorrow you go for an audition. You have to make them fall in love with you. I love you already. You need to make them love you.”
Before the exam he crossed them and asked: “Do you know how I love you?” They cried out: “Yes!” And he assured them: “You are the most beautiful dancers!”
As an ethnic Georgian he is of course a hot-blooded man. Where his teaching is concerned — his pupils had a run of luck.

Edited by Amelia
typo
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20 minutes ago, Amelia said:

 

Edited by Amelia
typo

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I am getting to the finish line with these two films. There is a wonderful, uplifting moment towards the end of the second segment, when Kirill makes his "confession". Then there is a sequence with Aaron, where the principal, after mentioning the "handicaps" that Aaron faces compared to his rivals, concludes: "..., yet with his talent he beats a vast number of those who have (what Aaron lacks)". In the subtitles we read: "Yet he has overcome every handicap through hard work". Oh, my, well, ...

 

The films made the situation with auditions and employment look more dramatic than it was in reality. There was never any doubt, in my mind, that Marko Juusela will land a job with a top company. I attended the dress rehearsal and two, out of three, graduation concerts, and Marko's performance in my opinion eclipsed that of Misha's. But I was truly delighted and, I admit, surprised, by Aaron, when it was his turn to perform the lead part of the King of the Ocean. Paquita brought the house down, it was so well performed by the whole ensemble, and the lead, Alexandra Khiteeva, danced like a complete, professional first soloist.

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On 29/09/2019 at 01:59, DD Driver said:

It wasn't said but probably Kirrill broke the rules when he reached out independently to get an audition with the Bolshoi (?) Maybe this was the last straw after the support he had been given.

 

There are no such rules. What the boy did is completely normal, and what lots of professional dancers do in a similar situation: they request to be seen in a class. He did, he came with great credentials, after all, and he was offered a job. Maybe he made the same confession we heard from him outside of the Bolshoi, to the Bolshoi ballet director, that from now on there will be no modelling, no fashion industry side jobs, just ballet, total commitment to professional dancing. The films made it clear, even though this may have been partly obfuscated by inaccurate subtitles, that the principal's frustration with the boy was his lack of total commitment and, what comes with it, his insufficient skill level.

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Something that occurred to me when watching these excellent films:  Tsiskaridze's admonitions were always informed by his passion for dance and his care for his pupils.  What a contrast to another TV programme, The Agony and the Ecstasy where Derek Deane's unmerited nastiness to Daria Klimentova was all about his ego and nothing about true care or passion - and that was to a senior, hard-working ballerina not to a pupil. 

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17 hours ago, Sharon said:

Yes I agree, such lovely lines.

I honestly think Tsiskaridze is a bit of a bully, excluding Kirill from the graduation performance - I mean how petty / personal is that? It certainly wasn't professional. If Kirill was good enough to complete his training without being asked to leave, and also gain 4 in his final exam, despite being I'll, he was surely good enough to be in the graduation performance. It appears Kirill's successful audition at the Bolshoi was something Tsiskaridze couldn't accept, was it because Kirill independently contacted the Bolshoi or was is because it's Tsiskaridze's old company? I wish him and all the young men successful careers. And Tsiskaridze? Please try to nurture and encourage rather than pick favourites and bully others!

 

I think that Tsiskaridze  while obviously a very talented dancer is also a bully. His way of teaching with fear is not the best way to instruct anyone. it is much better to use encouragement, example, passion, with high standards, it leads to a better developed emotional maturity in the students , who learn to have a greater confidence in themselves. While fear works, it is an inferior method. 

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45 minutes ago, Janite said:

 

I think that Tsiskaridze  while obviously a very talented dancer is also a bully. His way of teaching with fear is not the best way to instruct anyone. it is much better to use encouragement, example, passion, with high standards, it leads to a better developed emotional maturity in the students , who learn to have a greater confidence in themselves. While fear works, it is an inferior method. 

 

(I don't know how to edit a post so I am posting further thoughts this way.)
How much better, in my opinion, to have spoken privately to Kirill and if it  was considered that he didn't deserve a main part in the final to have given him a smaller role. There is no need for public humiliation, those in the know would see it.
 

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1 hour ago, Janite said:

How much better, in my opinion, to have spoken privately to Kirill and if it  was considered that he didn't deserve a main part in the final to have given him a smaller role. There is no need for public humiliation, those in the know would see it.

 

The film is not a documentary in a strict sense. Portions of it were scripted with consent of the participants. For example, the top graduating students of the Vaganova Academy are offered a job at Mariinsky after the graduation exam, the general audition a few weeks later is meant for the others, there were several other similar scripted scenes.

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