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Naomi M

Vaganova Academy Boys Documentary

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I'd like to say a big thank you to those posters who have corrected/expanded on the translations/subtitles.  For those of us who don't speak the language, it's only too easy to assume that the translation we see is accurate, and react accordingly.  Looking back, I see that the film was a Japanese production, so were the subtitles translated from the Japanese rather than the original Russian, I wonder?  There's always the risk of a "Chinese whispers" effect where intermediate languages are involved, and it can lead to quite significant distortion.

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In fairness to Kirill and his "lack of commitment" he did say in the film that his parents did not have much money so he was working as a model to help pay his way there.....though am assuming he must have been on some sort of basic scholarship of some sort as well.

He also said he sent money home....which seems a bit extreme for a student if he was so desperate for money for food himself!!! Well unless he was making a fortune from the modelling jobs. 

Also I think some of those comments on Kirill's dancing made by Tsiskaridze as stated in Amelia's post are so bad that they seem very surprising to me ......so I think must have been said in a fit of pique .....as otherwise he would never have had Kirill in his class in the first place!! 

Obviously we didn't see the students day in and day out throughout the whole year which has informed the frustration of Tsiskaridze 

with Kirill.

Probably non Russian speakers would have missed the use of diminutive names in the video. 

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29 minutes ago, alison said:

I'd like to say a big thank you to those posters who have corrected/expanded on the translations/subtitles.  For those of us who don't speak the language, it's only too easy to assume that the translation we see is accurate, and react accordingly.  Looking back, I see that the film was a Japanese production, so were the subtitles translated from the Japanese rather than the original Russian, I wonder?  There's always the risk of a "Chinese whispers" effect where intermediate languages are involved, and it can lead to quite significant distortion.

 

I first saw this documentary on Japanese TV, and then watched them with English subtitles. I do not understand Russian so I might not be accurate, but it does seem possible that the subtitles and narration were translated from the Japanese version. However, the Japanese language, especially when it is written down requires less letters than in English (more information in lesser words) so it does seem the Japanese subtitles can be more detailed than the English ones, the Japanese subtitles did mention how Tsiskaridze regarded his students in details.   (but it did miss the point about the nickname of the students)  

 

Vaganova Academy toured in Japan this February, they brought Nutcracker and Paquita/Fairy Doll, and Mikhail starred in Paquita, while Arron and Marko were in lead roles of Nutcracker/Fairy Doll. (Kirill was not included in the tour) so they are fairy familiar with the Japanese audience. 

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On ‎28‎/‎09‎/‎2019 at 18:54, LinMM said:

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.

 

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.


Oscar Frame graduated 2 years ago. Loved watching his final exam class but this one was absolutely nervewracking! Seeing the boys practise and make mistakes in the days leading up to the exam really had me on the edge of my seat wondering if they were going to pull it off on the day or not.  Really felt for Kirill, I think we all knows what it feels like to push through an illness like that but can't imagine what it must have been like to push through something with that level of physical intensity when there was so much at stake.  I was very impressed with his attitude and he did not give me the impression he was generally lazy but of course we only see a snapshot here. I admire his independant spirit.

These films gave a fascinating insight into the preparations, exams and auditioning process. I'm sure I'll be watching them again many times!

Agree with you about Tsiskaridze, I thought his dramatic response on discovering Kirill's illness was hilarious and loved the reaction of the nurses too!

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Yes you are right Oscar joined the Bolshoi in Sept 2017!! 🙄 Can't believe two years ago already....only feels like last year! 

 

Yes Tsiskaridze is a larger than life figure. He has to be tough ....he's running one of the most prestigious ballet training schools in the World. I always got the impression though that he had the boys' interests at heart. 

One thing that did occur to me is that given his circumstances I wonder  if nobody from Kirill's family was able to get to St Petersburg for the graduate show to see him dance and so he started to lose interest a bit and didn't put the work in for that reason. 

Though perhaps he just burned himself out briefly just getting through that exam whilst ill!! 

With all athletes there's a fine line walked sometimes between being super fit and under par and injured.

 

 

 

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In the context of this Japanese documentary, one should take a look also at the official school recording of the Graduation Exam:

 

 

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Ahh thanks for sharing assoluta, Kirill is a beautiful dancer! Quite amazing how he managed to get through all the exercises while clearly unwell as seen in the documentary.

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I thought it was a very interesting film. Tsiskaridze has a larger than life personality and no doubt commands great loyalty from his students. Perhaps I missed it but I  did not hear him say anything at all about Kirill's successful audition at the Bolshoi. How would he have reconciled that success - no doubt a reflection in some measure of his good teaching - with his negative view of the student? Of course, Tsiskaridze's views about the current Bolshoi administration are well known, but there is an irony there I think.

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I think this documentary is more of a chronicle of the process of the boys' class graduating. I don;t think Tsiskaridze thinks Kirill is untalented, but that he could be even better. And the graduation/final exams/performance process is often very tense and stressful. 

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Tsiskaridze did say he didn't really think Kirill would make it as a dancer ......mainly I think because he didn't think he would put the hard work required in.....but he also added that he would like to be proved wrong! 

Thanks for this video because you get to see more of all of the dancers in that class. I really like the Finnish boy too. At least one of the others in this class ( apart from the three we knew from the previous documentary ) also got a contract at the Mariinsky .....be interesting to know about the other two. 

I love this exam because it is so musical. I know it's a bit special and all choreographed by Tsiskaridze especially to show off the boys talents but even the barre was beautifully set to the music so properly danced.

I wish there was more of this in class teaching generally. 

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Thank you very much Naomi for posting the links to this very interesting film. One thing that struck me about the final exam was the complete absence of partnering which is, as mentioned several times in the documentary, an essential skill for a professional dancer. 

 

Has the Mariinsky hired any Bolshoi Academy graduates? Or is it strictly one-way traffic from St Petersburg to Moscow?

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Am assuming there is a separate pas de deux exam or assessment at least? 

Yes be interesting to know if Bolshoi students get taken into the Mariinsky......there is an open audition there so presumably anyone from anywhere can attend?

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I just checked the Mariinsky website and nearly all the dancers there were trained at the Vaganova  academy.  I couldn't see any that trained at the Moscow State Academy.

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13 hours ago, MrsBBB said:

One thing that struck me about the final exam was the complete absence of partnering which is, as mentioned several times in the documentary, an essential skill for a professional dancer.

 

Partnering is a separate exam, for rather obvious reasons.

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It is interesting that the Vaganova Academy film, and put on Youtube, all their exams every year. I wonder why more of the top schools don't do this.

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8 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

It is interesting that the Vaganova Academy film, and put on Youtube, all their exams every year. I wonder why more of the top schools don't do this.

I've been to many exams and school showcases and, based on what I see, most schools are reluctant, for understandable reasons, to put them online.

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I was more horrified at the girl who was expelled for being 'fat' when she was skeletal.

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Posted (edited)

Exactly Ivy Lin....it wasn't as if she didn't have the General Vaganova look!!

I think it must be difficult for these girls as they hit puberty.....when girls may naturally put on a big of weight temporarily. That's why ( in earlier post) I wondered whether they are given some target weight they are not allowed to get more than 5kg above!

 

This isn't just at Vaganova school thing though a friend of mines daughter in Australia had a bit of a hard time of it initially because she was the first one in her group to go through puberty and lose her stick like childhood figure. She was ahead of this group for a whole year which didn't help.

 

Im not sure how I feel about these exams being filmed.....most of the boys are 17-18 at this point so I suppose they don't mind as much by then. And of course they are performing to an audience .....quite a lot of people piled into the studio...it's probably worse considering them rather than the camera! But it is THEIR exam and they are being MARKED on it .....personally I would hate it ....but on the other hand I enjoyed watching it ( not the Kirill drama in the first film of course). 

Perhaps better to have either a pre or post exam demonstration class to which people and families and Company Directors are invited to see the end result of their training. 

 

 

 

Edited by LinMM
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On 07/10/2019 at 21:45, Pas de Quatre said:

It is interesting that the Vaganova Academy film, and put on Youtube, all their exams every year. I wonder why more of the top schools don't do this.

Actually while Vaganova Academy exams are always recorded, only a few are now put online, and students are apparently threatened with expulsion if they post an exam on social media without permission.  (According to the excellent blog of melmoth (https://melmoth.blog/) it is the individual teacher who get to decide if his/her class' exam appears online). 

 

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Just out of interest Kirill Sokolovski's name is now on the Bolshoi website listed as a Corps member. 

 

The photograph doesn't look that much like him as he appears to have longer hair ...so perhaps not taken in the last three months!! 

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