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About altongrimes

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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    santa barbara
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**

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  1. As I sit here allowing the audible version of Apollo's Angels to wash over my creative soul, I encountered the following quote attributable to Jerome Robbins: "You should never dance anything for the audience. It ruins it if you do. You should dance only to each other as if the audience wasn't there. It's very hard". This pronouncement is then in direct opposition to my initial premise that "performers are, in fact, driven to perform, and that they without us, an alert and actively participating audience, are not made complete". So much for my generalization. Even so, I remain intrigued by this notion and wonder at what percentage of the dance community has at it's core the drive to bring their gift to an audience. After all, I can't imagine that Marlon Brando's formidable gift was a treasure to be shared among only a select few.
  2. Upon further consideration, my "costumes" question is simply best answered, I think, by the simple execise of more diligence on my part to "do my homework". I would not overwhelm Ballet Alert with the frivolous.
  3. It would seem that the costumes used in both Giselle and Les Sylphides often appear so similar so as to appear indistinguishable one from the other. But perhaps the costumes could vary more noticeably depending upon whom is staging the productions ?
  4. I am astounded by the avalanche of response to my original question concerning "plastique". I keep pondering your replies very carefully and repeatedly as I go through my days. How I relish every word. How every one is like music to my ears. "A little Mozart, please!
  5. How I relish Sandik's marvellous response. Truly exciting to receive such an illuminating reply. A feast of discovery in your words. A joy !
  6. As I have been navigating my way through the refreshingly direct prose of BALLET 101, I discovered the term "PLASTIQUE". A dictionary definition of the term reads: "statuesque poses or slow graceful movements in dancing". While this seems reasonably clear, I find myself more curious about the term than the simple definition would seem to imply. And I can only wonder if certain dancers through the years have been described as possessing an enviable plastique? What a fascinating term.
  7. I feel compelled to include an excerpt from BALLET 101. What a marvelous book you have recommended!. "In France, les ballet, essentially reared in Paris, had become variously predictable and frivolously diverting. It's monied socially prominent audiences went to it largely out of habit, often to find personal or prurient pleasures. Next to Diaghilev's concentration of the imperial Russian ballet, the full scale republican French variety looked fairly inconsequential, decadent, or both." Ah ... Here, indeed is a great book ! Thank you to everyone !
  8. My most heartfelt thank you to all who have crafted such a glorious response to my request for a "definitive treatise on ballet history". It is indeed a humbling thing to be the recipient of such generosity of spirit. Why, you gave me a "Ferrari" instead of an old Ford ! Think I'll take it for a spin !
  9. I can still vividly recall a rather singular and profoundly inspiring aspect of an American Ballet Theater performance in Los Angeles during the Summer of 2013. Although the company's seamless rendering of Symphony in C was truly effected with great grace as was the bendy supercharged David Byrne-esque (yes, even in a big coat) James Whiteside in Ratmansky's hip Chamber Symphony, there was another facet to this diamond in Los Angeles more subtle and yet fairly bursting with unexpected color: the audience. Why this group threatened to steal the show ! What a presence they were ! From front row orchestra to the "end zone" seating of the last seat in the house, one could sense the myriad of bright and talented individuals gathered for the occassion. Navigating my way toward the front, " fly on the wall" me managed to find my seat next to an instantly personable and charming woman, who, it turned, had danced for Ballanchine. Glory ! That did it. From that moment forward, my creative spirit went ballistic. She danced for George Ballanchine ! I was in heaven ! After all, these are my heroes. These are the stars in my creative firmament. Not more than a handful of minutes - perhaps twenty - had transpired and with nary a rustling of the stage curtain or the glimpse of a toe shoe and I felt myself submerged in a kind of living room of greatness. I could only wonder and marvel at the identities of those about me. You could almost hear the hum of their collective genius. If the adage is true that " it's not what a man says that can be heard, but what he is that speaks so loud", this audience was among the most eloquent I have ever experienced. And so the living memory of their powehouse contribution to dance on that Summer day in Los Angeles will forever burn on the backroads of my memory.
  10. Watch me as I stagger out the door with this sky high pile of books on ballet history ! I can only wonder at the great reservoirs of creative oxygen contained within ! How your generous recommendations have already ignited that creative engine within me ! What a treasure of vast proportions is this Ballet Alert.
  11. Thank you Doug !
  12. This is truly wonderful ! I am so grateful that you would take the time to construct such a list ! They are like presents under my tree ! What a feast must surely be contained within. Thank you !
  13. Thank you to "pherank" !
  14. Hello Seattle Dancer ! My newly acquired passion for PNB seems a consequence of numerous meditations on PNB's YouTube videos working in concert with the highly colorful and intriguing remarks you recently made concerning Bernice Coppieters presence during the staging of the PNB Cendrillon. Certainly, it was your lively and fascinating remarks that acted as a kind of catalyst for my discovering "the signature" of this great company !
  15. I wonder if someone could suggest a book or two that they would consider a definitive treatise on ballet history. I have navigated my way through Jennifer Homans Apollo's Angels and have felt somewhat lost along the way. (I say this not as a criticism of her work).