Posted 08 November 2003 - 06:25 AM
Posted 08 November 2003 - 07:38 AM
What if Hagar IS a beauty? The poor Older Sister (both parents gone, run off or dead, the sister is responsible for the moral upbringing of those two girls....one troubled with an all too active fantasy life, the other a minx in the making).
Nora Kaye was a striking woman, from photos. I agree with atm -- I thought I was the only perosn alive who didn't find Wilson definitive in this role. I never saw Kaye, but I always thought Wilson's Hagar made the ballet about a woman who was ugly. She was repulsed by the Man from the House Opposite and his nocturnal activities -- I never got the idea that she was also attracted to him, or sexually curious.
Posted 08 November 2003 - 09:39 AM
But I certainly agree with you about Kaye -- and I am absolutely certain she was staggering in the role. She was a strikingly beautiful woman who nevertheless could portray that kind of hunger that gay men felt condemned to have to suffer and never have appeased - rather like Judy Garland, she could embody that condition of being condemned to a form of starvation...
And that's partly because she looked Jewish -- in a period when Jews were still outsiders looking in.
Hagar CAN be beautiful -- she just can't be conventionally pretty. She's got to be a "non-contender" ( "I coulda been a CONTENDER!")
Posted 08 November 2003 - 10:19 AM
Posted 08 November 2003 - 10:53 AM
What about Kathy Moore? Did anyone see her Hagar? (I did, and she was a dancer I admired profuselyl, but, as with Wilson, I couldn't FEEL what I'd read I was supposed to feel.)
Posted 08 November 2003 - 11:25 AM
I think one of the reasons I've disagreed with some of the critics is they keep pointing out that the ballet is old fashioned. But although our sexual mores have changed to an extent (but not everywhere), there are many things in the ballet that still hold true and I think Paul and Thalictum hit on it - she's an outsider looking in. Certain (I'd venture to say most) human characteristics don't change - the need to feel loved and understood is still important, the fear of being alone, exploring our sexuality and our ability to love... And Paul, I'd agree with the connection to Tennessee Williams - watching the ballet reminded me of the play Sweet Bird of Youth.
I think I read it in a review (or on the board) recently, but to really get inside these characters takes time in the studio and on stage. I think maybe ABT should have stuck to Murphy and McKerrow and given them an extra performance. Kent really didn't work for me, not that she wasn't trying. I hope, despite the large space of the Met, that ABT puts this ballet on in the Spring Season (I know they're taking it on the tour to Cleveland and elsewhere) so the casts can continue to develop. And maybe bring in a former Hagar such as Wilson, who (I think) coached McKererow for a Washington Ballet production.
Posted 08 November 2003 - 11:46 AM
I saw Kathy Moore first in 1987 when ABT was in Los Angeles. I thought she was bland then but by the time she last performed the role in 1991 I was moved by her performance. It does require time, thought and repeated performances, but Hagar in my opinion requires a more dynamic, even volcanic dancer than Kent, perhaps with a more mobile torso.
I also loved Leslie Browne and Magalie Messac in the part. I saw Cynthia Gregory's one and only performance and was impressed, although Tudor was not. Lise Houlton was also a first class interpreter of Tudor as Hagar and Caroline, et.al.
I was always at the edge of my seat watching Pillar of Fire -- until this season. McKerrow's second performance was vastly improved, however.
Edited by Thalictum, 08 November 2003 - 11:47 AM.
Posted 08 November 2003 - 07:34 PM
Dale, I hope you'll share with us how you respond to Kaye on the film "at the Library......" -- what a fantastic resource, how marvellous to be able to get to it without having to cross the continent.....
Posted 08 November 2003 - 10:59 PM
Does anybody know if Kirkland ever did Hagar?
Posted 08 November 2003 - 11:37 PM
Posted 09 November 2003 - 04:12 AM
Dale, when doing your research on Kaye, I wish you would add Annabelle Lyon, too. I never saw her as the younger sister, but it is said hers was the definitive performance. As much as I try, I cannot find a description of her interpretation. For those who have not seen the ballet the best description I have read was written by Edwin Denby and can be found in his book "Looking At the Dance".
Posted 09 November 2003 - 08:51 AM
After seeing them I have to agree that Hagarís looks arenít important, what matters is that she is portrayed as an outsider, a misfit, and that the dancer be able to express & project her inner emotions through Tudorís choreography.
Posted 09 November 2003 - 08:54 AM
Kirkland never danced Hagar.
Posted 09 November 2003 - 09:32 AM
PS -- speaking of intrigued, I'd love to know the source of your screen-name, Thalictum.....
Posted 09 November 2003 - 12:34 PM
Did anyone see her?
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