cubanmiamiboy

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About cubanmiamiboy

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer, fan
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  1. What a great source of information, ABTfan! Thanks for it. I think Kondratieva mentions in the above video the name of Misha as one of those who benefited from Liepa's reconstruction. So it looks like the choreography is well rooted both in NYC and Russia, as well as in Havana. I wonder how and when the parisians got the ballet. To be honest...the staging with Legris and de Vulpian is my favorite. It certainly shows the poses we see in the old Nijinsky/Karsavina photos more than other takes, and like no other it really takes you into the feeling that The Girl is feeling the presence of La Rose during her somnambulism. The particular segment where they are facing each other and La Rose suddenly opens her arm in front of The Girl, "hitting her" with his perfume, to which she kinds of tilts her torso back, also opening her arms is particularly beautiful. Liepa's take is also wonderful. He is the one that really pays the highest homage to Nijinsky's surreal makeup, making his character less human-like, which I think is EXTREMELY important for this ballet.
  2. Thank you all for your responses and video sharing. One of the subjects I find most fascinatings in ballet viewing has been to try to uncover the roots of a given staging or production. Le Spectre has had quite an interesting performance history, given that Fokine was still around way into the XX century-(he died in 1942)-, and by joining the de Basil troupe in 1937 he was able to give continuity to his old ballets. The are two sources I know of how the ballet has been staged. One is its insertion in the Soviet repertoire at the Bolshoi in 1966 by Maris Liepa. He learned the role by a dancer who had worked under Fokine himself, and by so I guess his approach to the piece can be considered quite close to the original. I also saw this ballet many times in Havana. Alonso had known the role since her years in NYC-(since the early 40's)-, while Fokine was still around, and she staged it for her troupe in Havana in 1949, along with "La Mort du Cygnet" . She had also previously imported Fokine's "Petroushka", "Prince Igor's Polovtsian Dances" and Les Sylphides" in 1948. All this ballets had had a carbon copy continuity ever since their insertion in the Cuban repertoire, as it is well known Alonso doesn't allow for re stagings or changes.-(she has been very vocal and fierce as to what she think should be kept as it was danced during her tenure with BT). Then there is POB, another troupe that has kept this ballet pretty much alive. What is its source...? . And how about ABT...? I don't have the booklet for those ABT performances some years ago, but I don't think there was a historic reference to its staging in its notes. I believe that much of ABT's current takes on many ballets are the product of Baryshnikov re stagings. I pretty much suspect ABT had been dancing older versions of many historic ballets up until his arrival. If so...what would be the ground of the current staging of Spectre...? Misha and how he learned the role in Soviet Union...? Or maybe Makarova...? Or Kolpakova...? (and if that was the case, then they would be all derivatives of Liepa's historic re staging) .Any thoughts...? Here is a staging in Havana. Giusseppe Picone and Annette Delgado. And here is a performance of Liepa's staging. Liepa and Kondratieva are the leads. Notice how much faster and difficult the choreography is here.
  3. Thank you for your responses! Helene...it is quite a shame that we don't have a proper stage clip of divine Soloviev in this role. The tiny studio and bad shape of the film, although we all know he owned that rare quality on muscular dancers to have such plush, soft landings and huge jumps. Eglevsky seems to had it too. La Rose also can become quite a One Man Show, where the dancer completely takes total control of the ballet, outshining The Girl-(classic example...Nureyev). Too showy for my taste. And yes, Cornejo. I think he will come down in ABT history as one of the finest in this role. As I said...he carefully crafted a perfect mix in between androgynism, masculinity, technical skills and stage-share with his ballerina. Oh yes...and THAT jump. ;-).
  4. Le Spectre de la Rose is with no doubt one of my favorite ballets. I have seen quite a few performances of it-(mainly back in Havana), some better than others, and some plainly disastrous. I realize that more and more that this gem of ballet is quite fading away from the modern stages, and that the younger generations of ballet goers are less likely to see it at all. I usually look for videos of older and newer renditions, and keep analyzing the possible reasons for its progressive absence. The very first thing that I believe happens to this ballet is the matter of how to portray the Rose. And then...how to cast the right dancer to dance it. It is not hard to realize that the task of bringing the character onstage could be quite difficult. As I said...i have seen MANY dancers fail miserably at trying to give live to Nijinsky's role. How should the ideal dancer be and act here...? Well. First and uttermost he needs to have a formidable jump, for which La Rose just keeps jumping and jumping from beginning to end....and enough strength to make it look as effortless-like as possible. But...having a great jump can't make for the absence of the right Art Nuveau "perfume" as this magnificent miniature requires. Classic example of this is Ivan vasiliev, who might jump like no one else...but that's about it for his take on this role. Vasiliev is just to hyperactive and rough edged. La Rose can also be dangerously mannered, which is another of its dancers' most common mistakes, and one that can really ruin the allure of the role. Yes...La Rose might be sort of androgynous-looking, and his arms and hands need fluidity. , but they should not be feminine...or overly done with oh-so-extreme broken wrists. Case scenario # 2. Igor Kolb. And the list goes on and on. La Rose can't be too tall-(I believe very tall dancers are less effective with high jumps)-too mannered...too masculine...too showy-(The Girl is still there...poor thing gets almost nothing after the dancer makes his window exiting grand jete...people don't even wait to clap thundersly while completely interrupting her very last moments along with the music) I think ABT did a wonderful job by bringing the ballet back a while ago. I was lucky to see one of the BEST Roses I have ever seen, danced by the amazing Hernan Cornejo, partnered by his old time ballerina Xiomara Reyes. His has probably been the best portray I have ever seen live, although to give the laurel wreath to the one dancer i believe has been able to reunite all the right qualities required to honor this ballet without having the feeling of watching a curiosity of the past, then here I call Monsieur Manuel Legris. Legris' Rose is a state of the art craftmanship of a role. It should be preserved as a way for future dancers to be rightly inspired for this role. Here is the clip, in which he dances with the equally magnificent Claude de Vulpian.
  5. May all blessings come upon you and your loved ones on this Easter Day.
  6. Where at...? First or second act?
  7. Silly question. Can you hum Giselle score from beginning to end...? I usually do it when taking a run. 😍
  8. We are losing our Principal women like crazy. Now that Catoya and the Delgado sisters are gone the company is looking quite frail. Arja is nice to watch, and so is Albertson...but that's about it. And I don't think Albertson will be dancing much more.
  9. So here are some thoughts on this program. "DIVERTIMENTO # 15" Divertimento No. 15 is such a jewel of a ballet. I would definitely say that it is up there in my top B's 5 fav-(along the lines with "T&V", "Diamonds", "Symphony in C" and "Ballet Imperial"). Well...TODAY it is my BIG favorite! ;-). The house was full and the atmosphere was electric, probably due to the fact that two of our most beloved ballerinas, the great Delgado sisters, are bidding their farewell, and the audience is well aware. Patricia for good...Jeanette who knows until when, given that she has danced very little lately, and again....who knows why.. Anyhow...the whole company looked radiant...they all gave their best and more, and I had a marvelous night at the ballet. As I said, it is impossible to go wrong with "Divertimento " .While watching it I was just re affirming all my previous ideas on why I TRULY believe in the genius of Balanchine. Nothing that I have seen from him-(and I know i have seen much less that many others here)- leaves out certain elements that makes his ballets such a pleasure to watch. One particular word comes always on my mind when watching his creations: his ability to permeate them with "finesse" . And Divertimento is just the classic example of this. The sensitive, cultured, well spoken, well mannered man shows up right there since the beginning. It is obvious that Balanchine very well knew the good music, the magical and complicated art of courtship and the intricacies of the refined social gatherings. No wonder he had such allure to attract his women-ballerinas the way he did all the way to marriage. The star of the ballet was without a doubt Jeanette Delgado and her impossibly fast sixth variation. This was just perfection with capital P. Right now I would say that Jeanette is at her 150 % of her peak. Her legs are pure steel...her multiple pirouettes done with such ease that it is imposible not to cheer up at them-(I did...guilty as charged, Cuban style...so sorry...but really...not sorry). Her petite allegro is just text book perfection, and I say she can REALLY go up there to any Principal spot I can think of...namely at NYCB or ABT...and DEFINITELY past and over any Russian. Tonight Jeanette took me way back in time...back to my early 90's times and its exciting ballerinas in Havana. Actually...I can assure that if this two sisters could ever dance in Cuba my fellow countrymen balletomannes would be CRAZY about them. But back to Divertimento. Watching it I could perfectly place in my mind this action as a moving tableaux from a Watteau' painting, in the lines of the group in his "Pilgrimage to Cythera". . Actually there is even a better example....his "Les Plaisirs du ball" Divertimento is all about amicable and pleasant courtship in between the women and her fewer men, particularly during the series of pdd's to the Andante movement. The plasticity of this section is just mesmerizing. A particular beautiful moment takes place when, breaking the usual exiting via lift, one of the couples graciusly make theirs walking backwards, the male dancer supporting his burreing ballerina. "WHO CARES..?" "Who Cares?" was with no doubt the audience's favorite on Saturday night. I must confess the first time I saw the ballet-(here at MCB)-it didn't make that much of a big impression, but by now I totally had a change of mind. By the time the ballet was way into its wonderful three pdd's I was thinking again on how endless was the genius of this man who was able to move Imperial Russia into jazzy America without loosing an ounce of elegance and style in the process. I know there had been the revolutionary Fokine and his breaking contributions at the turn of the century, but THIS...basically offering the Rockettes and Fred Astaire in BALLET-(and being able to comulgate with the idea, given the respect that he had for classicism)- is something I find quite big. To be honest...I don't find the neoclassical, leotard works a la Agon or Symphony in Three Movements as edgy as this ballet. Only listening to this Big Band music and realizing that is PURE ballet what is presented is just...amazing. The stars of Saturday evening were Patricia Delgado in "The Man i Love", Jeannette Delgado in "Embraceable You" and Tricia Albertson in "Who Cares?", all beautifully partnered by Renan Cerdeiro. The pdd's were magical, and it was quite a sight to see this young, still developing bailarin enjoying himself next to this three experienced ballerinas, although "Embraceable You" was truly dreamy the night before, when Jeannette Delgado was partnered by Kleber Rebello. This two have a quality I have not seen in too many dancers, even if they are technically proficient, which is a particular higher level of musicality. The way they attack and mold their accents...the plush quality of their interaction with the floor...the wonderful legato they permeate their change of steps with...it all talks of a deeper understanding of music and rhythm. I would say without a doubt that they have been surrounding by rhythm and music since they were very little. As Alicia Alonso once said when referring to how she thought Cubans upbringing with music since childhood was important in their ballet careers...they dance "with their eyes, their necks, their fingertips...their eyelashes". And that's, I'm sure, the way Rebello and Delgado grew up like. During curtain calls I noticed a cute elderly tiny couple behind me-(I was in first row orchestra)-cheering and screaming in Spanish "Mi nieta, mi nieta!!"-("Grand daughter, grand daughter!!"). Well...they were the Delgado's Cuban elderly grand parents, who couldn't be any prouder watching their lovely girls onstage.. They were emotional. ;-) "ARDEN COURT" It took me three views of Paul Taylor's "Arden Court" to get my attention aroused. I don't like modern dance...I yawn at the endless floor rolling , armpit dragging and gymnastics that are so ever present in contemporary creations-(hello Miss Danilova!). Now, I won't say that I loved Taylor's work, but it certainly had some appeal to my uber balletic eye. The costumes were quite pleasing-(some sparkling patterns for the fabrics), and they shaped the dancers bodies quite lovely-(as you all know men are bare chested, so their only covering is their skin tight bottoms, which looks quite sensual). The use of the arms is interesting, usually a "la couronne", and in general the work has a certain plasticity quite captivating. But that's abut it-(at least for me). I didn't disliked the work, but I'm must certain that if it had been place the last I wouldn't had stayed after the second intermezzo. General audience seemed to disagree with it, given all the cheering and enthusiasm it created-(which in my case was given first to "Divertimento # 15". and then to "Who.Cares?")
  10. Prayers for Petersburg. A beautiful, vibrant city that without a doubt will be able to face and confront such evil.
  11. Edited: Double post
  12. I started to watch this and couldn't pass Albrecht and his 80's inspired lycra shorts. What a travesty of a production, mamma mia...
  13. Edited: Double post.