Great Ballerinas #2
Posted 09 December 1998 - 07:15 PM
Posted 10 December 1998 - 03:11 AM
I agree with you, she is a wonderful artist...I had the pleasure to dance with her quite a bit, and feel very fortunate about it !
Posted 10 December 1998 - 10:17 AM
Posted 15 January 1999 - 10:04 AM
I would rather nominate Yulia Makhalina of the Kirov Ballet, or why not Uliana Lopatkina ?
Posted 16 January 1999 - 06:37 AM
While I enjoy watching Yulia Makhalina she just doesn't change my world when I do. Not only doesn't she have longevity (yet) but in sporting terms, she hasn't led her team to the world championship. If the Kirov is considered better than it was five to 10 years ago, I believe it is because of their younger principles: Lopatikina, Vishneva, Sakahrova etc... That said, I've only seen her in a handful of performances, maybe I'd have to watch her over a whole season to make a really just decision.
Posted 16 January 1999 - 10:35 AM
Then something seemed to go wrong. Next time, she danced Tchaikovsky pas de deux in what looked like a Naughty Nighty from Victoria's Secret; as did her Dying Swan costume. Her dancing seemed less disciplined, too.
When I saw the Kirov ten years ago, they had that wonderful crop of young women: Makhalina, Ayupova, Ivanova, Pankova, Lezhnina, (forgive my spelling; I'm not looking any of these up) with Asylmuratova, slightly older, at the fore. I remember we all breathed a sigh of relief. "Ah, Russia. It won't die out. Look at them. They still produce squads of ballerinas." And within a few years, most of them were gone to other companies, and the ones who remained -- well, to me, they did not fulfill their early promise.
Hope with the new management the current generation will do better.
As for your question, Marc, of how did soandso get chosen, I doubt that any of us would agree with many of the names posted here. As Dale said, people just put up their favorites. That's why I put up the other thread, "Favorites." I was trying to make the distinction between "Great" and "Favorites" but I realized that that's something that concerns critics much more than fans, and it was probably a silly thing to try.
Posted 16 January 1999 - 02:47 PM
The trouble with the young dancers at the Kirov Ballet nowadays is that they are much too soon in their careers confronted with too many roles. Before they are even twenty they already danced all the major roles in the repertoire, without ever getting the time to absorb. The result is often a complete lack of identification with the role, blandness, and boring performances that all look the same, whether it is Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, or Symphony in C.
And yes, Dale, Makhalina is a great ballerina. If you have the chance watch her in Raymonda, Paquita, Anna Karenina, or La Bayadère, those will give you a better understanding of her than some Swan Lake or Giselle pas de deux taken out of its context. Or try to watch her in rehearsal. You might be in for a fascinating experience, I'll tell you. Indeed, Makhalina used to take liberties with the text, especially in classical parts (though that too has been exaggerated by a certain tendency in mainly the British press), but anybody who saw her these last years will admit that there is a profound understanding in everything she does. Everything comes from the heart. And that seems to become something of a rarity too.
Honestly, I don't know if the Kirov is better than it was 5 or 10 years ago, but if it is, than I seriously doubt it is because of the youngest principals.
Posted 16 January 1999 - 03:14 PM
Please fill me in!
Posted 16 January 1999 - 05:08 PM
Posted 17 January 1999 - 10:48 AM
The Stanislavsky Ballet was in Washington recently and, although it's hardly a great company, it had great balletmastering. The Princes were Princes and the Jesters were Jesters, so there. The company also paid great attention to style. Their "Chopiniana" was gorgeous -- and never looked, for a moment, like the second act of "Swan Lake." Alas, if they had a ballerina, they left her at home.
Posted 17 January 1999 - 12:32 PM
Sadly, the Kirov Ballet, rightly proud of its tradition, is not immune to this flaw either. Attending rehearsals can be instructive for this matter. I'm not throwing stones at anyone - it's really too painful - , but when during a studio rehearsal a leading ballerina has to admit in tears that she has forgotten every single step of the ballet she is supposed to be dancing in the evening, then I guess there is something seriously wrong with the training. Everything was gone. And of course, anybody can have a blackout. But then you realize that this person isn't even twenty, and yet she is supposed to master a repertoire which normally for somebody of thirty-five would already be a major achievement. Everything is going much too fast. Nobody is instructed to watch examples anymore. None of the youngsters has or takes the time to watch a performance by an older colleague, who is sidelined anyway. The phenomenon of "living examples" is disappearing. Add to that the strain of endless touring, the responsability of being a "star-ballerina" at twenty, and you easily understand that some performances are anything but satisfactory.
But still, she can lift her legs behind her ear and she has a nice smile... The general ballerina of today? I'm afraid so.
Posted 18 January 1999 - 06:23 AM
[This message has been edited by Dale (edited 01-18-99).]
Posted 18 January 1999 - 11:25 AM
Please don't post anything more here.
If you want to talk about Great Ballerinas, please go to Great Ballerinas #3.
If you want to talk about coaching or the lack thereof, please go to Coaching or the Lack Thereof. I'm going to copy Dale's posts to that thread, just to get it started.
[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited 01-18-99).]
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