NYCB ballerinas as Carabosse
Posted 23 February 2004 - 08:13 AM
Posted 23 February 2004 - 09:11 AM
Posted 23 February 2004 - 10:47 AM
Believe me, Alexandra and Cagill, I would be the first person at the box office if a bevy of principals were offered in these roles. We could have Borree, Somogyi, Wendy, Miranda and Alexandra.
What companies use principals in these roles? In companies where principals and soloists are paid a per-performance fee, it must get costly. When I saw BEAUTY a few times at ABT about 25 years ago, I don't recall principals among the fairies...they used a mixture of soloists and corp girls.
Probably if Peter's soloist ranks were not depleted by injury this year we would have seen Taylor & Abi S. in that group. I think having corps girls "step out" in featured roles is an NYCB tradition. I remember Merrill Ashley getting bonbons from Balanchine when she was just a kid.
For myself, I relish the chance to see some of my corps favorites take center stage for a few minutes.
Posted 23 February 2004 - 11:00 AM
The Lilac Fairy is often seen as a soloist's role as well.
Same thing with the Princes in the Rose Adagio. Is there anywhere else in the world today, save the Kirov, that uses principal men for these roles?
Posted 23 February 2004 - 11:09 AM
NYCB had only three female soloists who were able to perform throughout the season. Mathematically, gotta go to corps.
Posted 23 February 2004 - 11:22 AM
When NYCB's Beauty was new, they cast principals as the Rose Adagio cavaliers. I remember that Jock Soto, who is part Native American, was cast as the Prince from America. Nowadays, they still put soloists in these roles, and announce the casting along with the divertissement and character roles, which indicates that they consider the parts important.
Is there anywhere else in the world today, save the Kirov, that uses principal men for these roles?
Posted 23 February 2004 - 01:55 PM
What the company is really short of at the moment is Auroros - they've lost three out of the planned seven so far, so that someone could theoretically have booked to see Bussell, Yoshida and Tapper and find themselves watching Marquez, Marquez and Marquez.
Posted 23 February 2004 - 02:03 PM
Good point -- exactly why Beauty was the hallmark of a "great" company. If you could do Beauty, you had arrived. That was before mini-beauties sprouted up all over the place. (I don't mean to say that NYCB has one of these, just speaking generally.) Now it's become what I call a water cooler ballet. Artistic Director ABC saunters up and says, casually, "We'll be doing Beauty next year" -- never mind that his company can barely get thorugh "Serenade" -- and Artistic Directors DEF through XYZ go "wow" and scuttle off to stage one of their own. (I don't mean this is the motivation for every smaller company that stages Beauty, but I think it's the motivation for some of them.)
And this leads me to wonder what company can afford to employ enough principal dancers to multi-cast a Beauty?
Paris Opera Ballet can cast a beauty with etoiles in the star parts and premier danseurs/ses in the fairy and dvert parts, so can the Kirov. I've always thought that's one of the reasons the Maryinsky wanted the ballet in the first place -- it was their "Ballet Comique de la Reine Louise." Match this, if you can.
Posted 23 February 2004 - 03:50 PM
Those were the days, huh?
I've always thought as well that Beauty was a benchmark ballet-- a touchstone of beautiful classical style, brilliance, and lavish elegance. The descriptions of Diaghilev's Beauty....
and, of course, what was the Royal's first overwhelming smash hit in America in 1949?
Posted 23 February 2004 - 04:40 PM
I think undercasting is one of the main reasons why some of the grand old ballets don't look very grand. If you saw a line up like that -- think of it; that prologue segment is long! -- you'd see the ballet's power. There were people who went to see every single performance of Diaghilev's Beauty -- not because there were 12 casts, but because the casts they saw were satisfying.
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