Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:38 PM
I know she was the first Lise in Ashton's "La Fille Mal Gardee."
Did anyone see her perform live?
Posted 01 August 2003 - 03:10 AM
Posted 01 August 2003 - 07:50 AM
I could be wrong and thinking of someone else, but I think I remember reading that she was taller than Fonteyn and physically capable of a wider range of technical things and that Ashton exploited those qualities in Lise. When I see Ananiashvilli these days in Fille, in the Act I balance in arabesque on point supported and slowly turned by the burst of bribbons, I think of that.
Posted 01 August 2003 - 02:13 PM
I might have posted this before, but after all these years I am still so impressed that I will take the risk of posting it again.
In the late fifties - early sixties I took classes with Madame Cleo Nordi. Open professional classes commenced at 11 a.m. Before that, at 10 a.m. most days Miss Nerina had private class with Madame Nordi. Not always, but very frequently, Miss Nerina stayed on to do the professional class as well. Thus I had ample opportunities to observe her in class. She was lovely!
No fireworks, but oh, so clean, every position was perfect and immaculate.
Posted 04 August 2003 - 08:08 AM
Posted 08 August 2003 - 04:19 AM
Posted 08 August 2003 - 08:58 AM
She was wonderful in Fille in the early days - dazzling technique, funny and charming - but within three or four years she'd become much too coy and self conscious for my taste.
I remember her as more 'earthy' than Fonteyn and Beriosova, and in fact more of a soubrette than a classical ballerina. The first time I saw her in Swan Lake I thought she was terrible - 'Nadia Nerina looking rather cross' in Act 2, and a circus act in Act 3. (I can't remember if it was that occasion or later that she obviously had a terrible cold, and is the only ballerina I've ever seen who could whip a handkerchief out from the bosom of her tutu, blow her nose, and stuff the handkerchief back, all whilst she had hser back to the audience in the course of one promenade in arabesque.)
In Sleeping Beauty I liked her best in the Vision Scene - something I've noticed with other dancers I'd describe as soubrettes - as if having to subdue their natural exuberance for that act brought out some extra quality.
A couple of years ago I saw the television film of Giselle she made with Nicolai Fadeyechev - he looked like someone from another age, but she could have stepped into a Royal Ballet performance today and looked perfectly at home.
Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:57 AM
Posted 11 August 2003 - 08:20 AM
also, re: NN and swanilda, she was filmed in one of m.dale's distinctive films in COPPELIA; it's around still, i believe.
Posted 11 August 2003 - 12:05 PM
Posted 11 August 2003 - 02:02 PM
about sibley and the rose adage - i honestly don't know, but i feel quite sure this is likely to have happened. it's really not so unusual, even in a class, sometimes to get a freak fantastic balance, and to find it easier to stay there, than to come down. i saw maria almeida do an equally spectacular disregard-of-the-choreography in beauty, about 15 years ago.
if you liked collier, you are bound to like durante. she appears in the RB staging of beauty, directed by dowell, which is available on video. if you can't get hold of it, one day i will make a mammoth effort and get my 2nd VCR fixed, so that i can record you a copy.
Posted 11 August 2003 - 02:32 PM
I am interested to learn that a RB SB is on video, and shall make enquiries with David Leonard. Thanks for your most generous offer. The kitties send warm regards, G on my lap, and C on the mousepad. She gently bites my knuckles every time I click!
Posted 11 August 2003 - 02:41 PM
What's interesting about Collier is that, at the end, she was the last of the Royal Ballet's women to have the style, so even in roles where she wasn't ideally suited, IMO (Titania in The Dream, say) she was a pleasure to watch as a stylist.
I do agree with the compact body suiting Petipa, and Ashton -- I don't care for long-legged Auroras. But I don't think all compact -- or classically-proportioned, in the 18th century use of the term, as Fonteyn was, are soubrettes. But female employ is so complex, and so much of it is lost, that I can only get at it. I believe each fairy in the Prologue of Sleeping B represents a different employ, for example, and Balanchine uses the exact same employ, in the same order, in Divertimento No. 15, but I can only see it, not name it.
Posted 11 August 2003 - 03:38 PM
~ i WISH!!!
you once danced with the RB
sadly, i was never in that class.
oh, i tried. i tried. but: no.
i HAVE danced - in much humbler settings.
when i went to london, to train as a benesh notator, (the benesh institute was then right behind the RB company - tube line in-between), i was lucky enough to spend lots of time at the RB and RBS.
i notated on a new bintley work, and an ashton work (when ashton was still alive & around). i watched rehearsals and company classes. i watched teachers at the RBS upper school, and i also worked one summer at white lodge. i took class with ex-RB people, like beriosova and maryon lane and lynn seymour. (i had come from training in australia with lucette aldous.) my partner was an RB dancer, so i met or knew many of the dancers who were current, then (80's to 1991) - including collier.
i feel very lucky to have been there at that time, and to have met living history in the form of people like markova, de valois, etc.
but to have danced in such exalted company - no. sadly not to be. :shrug:
Posted 12 August 2003 - 04:33 AM
Anyhow, I wonder if NN got her breaks in the RB because of Dame Ninette's passion for demi-caractere ballet--her own idiom, and that of Massine, whom she invited to choreograph on at least three occasions for the SWB/RB. I know this because in late 70s/early 80s, the BBC got hold of three Petipa ballets (Paquita, La Halte de [la?] cavalerie and Les Millions des harlequins) and had Dame Ninette and David Vaughan comment in the interval. Dame N LOVED La Halte, and commented sadly on the eclipse of the d-caractere ballet. I think she felt a special attraction to mobility (somewhere she uses the adjective of Elaine Fifield), and probably favoured dancers who had it, even if they lacked in other departments. On my old vinyl Cinderella highlights sleeve, there is a photo of Fonteyn, Blair, Nerina and Ashbridge alongside each other. (That should be WAS--I have just gone to look for it, and it's not there. I must have given it away when I bought the complete ballet.) Anyhow, as I remember, Fonteyn, even in spite of her fullish legs that some people (not I!) don't care for, projects a sort of columnar presence. By comparison, Nerina has a physique more evocative of a top, wide at the thighs but narrowing down to the pointes. I can see how Jane might not have liked that in Odette, but for me it holds huge promise for Odile. As Mell has pointed out, she had a "facile allegro."
Grace, your career sounds very impressive indeed. How wonderful, like Doug, to have all the great ballets of the world at your fingertips. Lucette Aldous is a name to conjure with (one of those soubrette crossovers again). Doesn't one glimpse her Odile in The Turning Point? I loved her Kitri in the Nureyev film, even to the point of forgetting the HIDEOUS Lanchbery orchestration of her Act V solo. Are you teaching now, or notating for one of the Oz companies? Or both?
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