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Galina Mezentseva


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#1 mohnurka

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 02:29 PM

Where is Galina Mezentseva currently? She was in the Kirov-Mariinsky, then for a time was in Scotland, and now...? What is she doing?

#2 coda

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 03:59 PM

http://www.csa.ru/Mezentseva/

#3 mohnurka

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 11:55 AM

Yes, I know about that site, and in fact, have printed many photos :) But I don't think it mentions what she is doing currently...

#4 canbelto

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 07:42 AM

I've never seen Mezentseva live, but from the videos I have seen I must admit she's one ballerina whose enormous reputation baffles me. She has a good classical technique (pure lines, very "Kirov"), but she's not a particularly fast or athletic ballerina. Her leaps and spins all at least on video seem slow and deliberate. But most of all, she just seems to exude iciness. Her face, hands, back, they all seem stiff, icy, and unexpressive. This is good, I suppose, for a role like Odile, but then again, her total lack of sexiness and her aforementioned deliberateness are kind of a wet blanket even in the Black Pas de deux. I dont know whether she was a different ballerina in person, but at least on video Mesentseva seems rather, well, ordinary to me.

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 08:54 AM

canbelto, I am so glad you wrote that. I have never understood her high reputation -- and it's my understanding that she really is revered as a top ballerina in Russia. To me, she's not at the top in anything: technique, artistry, dramatically, or even in physical beauty. I have seen her live several times and I did not admire her performances.

This may be a Great Cultural Divide. I've been told by colleagues who saw her dance in Russia 15 years or so ago that American and British critics, to a person, went and said "Oh, what a beauty!!!!" -- about Asylmuratova. And the Russians, to a person, said, "What? NO! You must see Mezentseva."

I'm still asking why? why? why?

#6 carbro

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 09:12 AM

I mostly agree with you, Alexandra and Canbelto. However, I was surprised to see her turn in a ballerina-claiber Sylph-figure in Scotch Symphony when the Kirov brought their brand-new, Farrell-staged production to the Met. Is it that the Balanchine didn't require the fluid lyricism that the older classics do? Was it Suzanne Farrell's magic touch? Don't know :shrug: , but it was a lovely, commanding (in its gentle way) performance, free of the brittleness I'd come to expect from her.

#7 Cygnet

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 12:23 PM

canbelto, I am so glad you wrote that.  I agree completely.  I have never understood her high reputation -- and it's my understanding that she really is revered as a top ballerina in Russia.  To me, she's not at the top in anything: technique, artistry, dramatically, or even in physical beauty.  I have seen her live several times and I did not admire her performances.

This may be a Great Cultural Divide.  I've been told by colleagues who saw her dance in Russia 15 years or so ago that American and British critics, to a person, went and said "Oh, what a beauty!!!!" -- about Asylmuratova.  And the Russians, to a person, said, "What?  NO!  You must see Mezentseva."

I'm still asking why? why? why?

Ditto that Alexandra! I have several Kirov tapes with Mezentseva in them, and only one she starred in - the 1982 "Giselle" with K. Zaklinsky. Based on the recorded evidence, I concluded long ago that she was mediocre. After time goes by the worst reviews tend to stick in your mind. I remember when the Kirov came to L.A. in 1989. Martin Bernheimer, whose not given to diplomacy, completely flipped out when she danced the Lilac Fairy. He said, "Mercifully, she didn't wear the nighty. She had feet that groped rather than skimmed the floor." I will never forget that. Three years earlier he questioned the Kirov "... favoring her with the central assignments." Her coach was Olga Moiseyeva, and even she called her a great ballerina :shrug:. Her main partnership was with Zaklinsky. IMO I think he made her; not the other way around. He was a very earthy, handsome, competent and generous danseur noble. He knew how to present her.

I can't remember the name of the book, but I read that the Russians likened her, (IMO frightening), thinness in ballets like 'Giselle,' 'Bayadere' and 'Swan Lake' as ethereal and ghostly. In 'Giselle' she did look like a wraith. Her Mad Scene was contrived. She had no lightness nor lyricism for me. Technically she was just ok. Perhaps during the Soviet era she was a party member and had the favor of the powers that were. She did receive many State awards and titles. Other than that, I don't see how she made it.

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 12:30 PM

Well, that's my take on things :blushing: I love the toes groping the stage -- thank you for that. I saw her mostly with Evgeny Neff (an apt partner); when I saw Zaklinsky, he was usually with Asylmuratova, and I thought they were a very fine partnership.

I once was at a reception with dance students in their late teens, and I remember asking one which ballerina she most admired. "Mezentseva," she said, unhesitatingly. "Why?" I said, trying to maintain an impassive, though bright and intrigued, expression. "Oh, the technique, the artistry. Her beauty. Everything." "Oh," I said. "She's so THIN," said the young dancer. And on that, we could agree.

#9 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 01:45 PM

Here we have this strange phenomenon in Russian ballet, called Mezentseva. I'm not trying to defend her, nor did I ever like her much. Yet there is one undeniable fact, as Alexandra already mentioned: she is adored by about any Petersburg trained dancer I know. Many of them, even from the current generation of Mariinsky dancers, consider her the example to follow, and many will admit her being far superior. A Kirov dancer once told me that her mad scene in Giselle was the most convincing one he'd ever seen in his life. Not because of her thinness, but because of her dramatic abilities, which he thought unequalled. I have never seen it, but there it is - and the things you suggest, Cygnet, are totally irrelevant to that fact. Moreover, Mezentseva was definitely not made because of dancing with Zaklinsky.

#10 jose manuel

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 02:10 PM

I feel so sad. I had never read so many monstruosities put together.

Galina Mezentseva is a DIVINITY.

She is the epitome of classical ballet. she is one of the best examples odf the best school of classical ballet.

she is tops in everything in technique, artistry, dramatically and in physical beauty.

I cant understand how can someone put her down based in watching one tape of her performing.moreover in giselle ,she was sublime, she was not " stiff,icy or inexpressive". she was expressive and with a divine subtlety she conveyed all the emotion s of this difficult role.

she is one of the best giselles of all time and extraordinary in swan lake. she is not icy, she is reserved and subtle in her emotions. ( maybe you would prefer her to roll on the floor like a madwoman)

if you had seen her dancing the dying swan in the zubkovskaya jubilee in st petersburg, you would not criticise her so stupidly and harshly. you would understand that her artistry comes from an unbroken line of divine dancers and paedagogues, like olga moiseyeva and agrippina vaganova.

I am so sad that the usa americans have these divinities teaching and coaching like mezentseva and kolpakova and you dont appreciate them.... please learn and appreciate men..


all this reminds me of a moment from the american documentary about the ABT from 1995 called Dance when the divine kolpakova is coaching Susan Jaffe in la Bayadere. when the rehearsal ends a couple with their little girl that have been watching the rehearsal, rush to susan jaffe and ask their autograph. they prefer a famous but run-of-the-mill dancer to a divinity. very sad...



josé manuel

#11 jose manuel

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 02:15 PM

yes, ther mad scene in giselle is the best I have ever seen

and I am very happy to read that kirov dancers still look at her in awe. not all hope is lost,then.


jose manuel

#12 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 02:15 PM

Well, we've got both sides of this argument now.

I only have seen Mezentseva on film, in "Backstage at the Kirov". She didn't make either a positive or negative impression from that. I guess she's one of those dancers that, if you don't get her, you never will.

#13 jose manuel

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 02:18 PM

I have to say that my post was written before haegeman´s reply (although he was quicker in replying) so my first line does not refer to him.

jose manuel

#14 Alexandra

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 02:20 PM

Just a quick note: Irina Kolpakova is generally very admired here both as a great ballerina (especially for her Aurora) and, today, as a coach.

And a general comment on the thread: We want to foster an atmosphere on this forum where people aren't afraid to say what they think. And so while we're happy to have strong opinions here, we ask that you state them positively: say what you admire about the artist, rather than insulting or dismissing those who disagree, please.

Edited by Alexandra, 25 May 2004 - 04:25 PM.


#15 Juliet

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Posted 25 May 2004 - 04:24 PM

I love Mezentseva. I always have.

"I am so sad that the usa americans have these divinities teaching and coaching like mezentseva and kolpakova and you dont appreciate them.... please learn and appreciate men.."


I think the above comment is harsh, has nothing to do with ballet, and is uneccesarily critical of our country. Please refrain from such, thank you very much.

Mezentseva is glorious, she was also able to teach, tour, and spread her art in the USA.
Kolpakova lives and teaches in NY and Indiana.....

No one forces them to be here, we are extremely fortunate to have artists of their calibre and they are obviously here because they can make a living and pass their art on to future generations.

Who has GM's Giselle on video? Can I get a copy from you? Please, please????Please PM me--


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