Who do you miss the most?
Posted 07 March 2001 - 02:59 AM
Leigh Witchel - firstname.lastname@example.org
[url="http://"http://members.aol.com/lwitchel"]Personal Page and Dance Writing[/url]
[url="http://"http://members.aol.com/dnceasever"]Dance as Ever[/url]
Posted 08 March 2001 - 07:12 PM
I'll add a dancer who wasn't one of my favorites at the time -- Cynthia Gregory. I remember enjoying her technical strengths and almost pugnacious attitude, while thinking she was perhaps wanting in subtlety. Then a year or so ago I saw a fuzzy video of her dancing Aurora in ABT's Sleeping Beauty from the late Seventies (I think I never actually bothered to see her dance Aurora at the time), and I was absolutely blown away. She was great, probably the greatest Aurora I've seen, and with not a six o'clock penchee in sight. What had been thinking back then?
Posted 12 March 2001 - 12:06 AM
Altynai Asylmuratova, when she was younger, such as in this video I managed to purchase. She is in Le Corsaire, as I believe, Medora with Yevgeny Neff as Conrad. Her catlike elegance and impeccable fleetfooted technique is matched by her stellar grace and natural beauty. A Kirov prima in her own right, it saddened me to see on an Internet newsletter that someone had said it was time for the veterans of Asylmuratova's generation to move on and make room for younger virtuosos, such as Vishneva and Lopatkina.
I don't know about you, but I think that veterans like Asylmuratova and even Makhalina and Ruzimatov are vital to a company's success. From a younger dancer's standpoint, having a ballet mistress or a much more experienced performer teaching you a role is like some sacred ritual. It's like handing down a story from one generation to the next. A collection of variations from 19th century ballets being taught to younger students is like passing on stories of the Bible, at least to me.
So, to recap what I managed to draw out and make painful, I am truly jealous and most regretful that I had been born too late to see the dancers x - the household-known names, the balletomane's muse, the stars of the Golden Age.
"When I get onto stage, I think, I'm dancing on my grave."
Posted 12 March 2001 - 11:02 AM
Posted 12 March 2001 - 11:40 AM
Sometimes I think too that I was born too late to see so many great dancers- but every ballet fan probably thought that at least once, the people who saw Nijinsky and Pavlova perhaps regretted not having seen Grisi and Taglioni, those who saw Grisi and Taglioni regretted not seeing Vestris, etc.
Posted 12 March 2001 - 09:46 PM
Posted 13 March 2001 - 02:27 AM
Posted 13 March 2001 - 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Estelle:
I agree with Gianninna: Lukayev, welcome, and thanks for your post! I think that there are many, many people on this site who agree with you about the fact that "veterans" like Assylmuratova are vital for their companies.
If only there would be as many people in the Kirov who agree with this as on this board...
As for the regrets: Shelest, Sizova and above all Soloviev.
Posted 13 March 2001 - 07:54 PM
Posted 13 March 2001 - 08:51 PM
Posted 17 March 2001 - 11:05 AM
Posted 25 March 2001 - 08:10 PM
Yuri Soloviev - Not a great performer, but an unmatched technician.
Mikhail Lavrovsky - I've seen him in a tape of Giselle, Spartacus and dancing the variation from Don Quixote, and I think he's just amazing. He creates long phrases in his dancing like no one else I've seen.
Alla Sizova - Her Aurora from the 1965 Kirov Sleeping Beauty (mentioned earlier on this thread) is one of my favorite performances in any video. As I understand it, she injured her back when she was in her late 20's and was never quite the same. An magical dancer.
Carla Fracci - Every time I see videos of her (Giselle, La Syphide) it's hard to imagine anyone better in those roles.
One dancer I did see later on in her career (in the mid-seventies) was Maya Plisetskaya. Let's face it, you see Maya dance something, and every other performer attempting that role might as well get a job at MacDonalds. I really wish someone would come out with a video of her complete Don Quixote, she is an unmatchable Kitri. The fragments I've seen of it make Harvey, Gregory and Kirland look like pale imitators. What I especially love about Plisetskaya is that someone with her body (not thin, short legs, long torso) would have a hard time getting noticed with most companies today, but her stage presence and explosive technique was such that she made the Bolshoi stage look small. I've never seen a sexier performance than her as Carmen when she was already over 50. Every prospective dancer, please watch the video "Plisetskaya Dances" and watch how it's really done.
To continue the discussion of Cynthia Gregory, who I saw live a half-dozen times, I think she was a powerful technical dancer, had beautiful line, but little expressiveness. She always held back on stage, and struck me as being very insecure (how's that for pop psychology). I saw her in Swan Lake and Don Q and didn't think she had a great classical style, even though she could balance and turn with the best of them. I'm glad I saw her, but I never felt her performances were really etched into my memory or especially moved me.
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