Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:04 AM
I found it really interesting because to me, I find the ballet absolutely mutable. It's the little black dress of pas de deux and I've seen it done by people as diverse as Agnes Letestu and Nina Ananiashvili. I go in seeing how it's going to look on each individual dancer less than how the dancer will mold him or herself to it. I can think of plenty of people I've liked in the role, but nobody "owns" it in my head.
Which approach more defines you? Do you have an image in your mind of a definitive Tschai pas?
Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:40 AM
Verdy was Really Something.
Posted 02 June 2004 - 09:06 AM
Posted 02 June 2004 - 09:53 AM
From everything I've read and seen of Conrad Ludlow's dancing (on film), he was noted as an exceptional partner, but not a virtuouso, and his persona was the opposite of Michael's description of Cornejo. I wish I could see the film of Verdy and Ludlow, to see what version he danced, since he was one of the originals.
Posted 02 June 2004 - 02:48 PM
Helene - Verdy and Ludlow coached that version for the Balanchine Foundation to Peter Boal and Jenny Somogyi. I did an interminable article on it for last winter's print edition of Dance View.
The short answer is that Ludlow's variation was much longer, and gradually got pared down as the other dancers doing the part made cuts. His variation was more "Petipa" in nature; I recall a diagonals of assemble's and pirouettes. It felt like Balanchine gave it to him almost as an assignment. (Describing one diagonal, he said, in essence, "I couldn't do this, but Balanchine wanted me to.")
Posted 03 June 2004 - 12:13 PM
Verdy recalls this in Balanchine's Ballerinas. she says she always esp. liked dancing to a violin because it gave the muscles a sensuous quality....
I'd say the little CHANEL black dress, with perfect pearls, of pas de deux.
Nichols was especially lovely in this, as she was in many Verdy parts (La Source, Liebeslieder, Emeralds). and it's never mentioned at all, but Ashley was so dazzling in it one completely forgot the man!
There were two distinct male variations at one time: Villella's and D'Amboise's (the two men who most often danced the role, beside Ludlow)
Posted 03 June 2004 - 02:58 PM
Bravo! Exactly! And what a fine way to observe any dancer in any role.
Posted 03 June 2004 - 05:19 PM
Posted 03 June 2004 - 05:52 PM
Posted 03 June 2004 - 06:23 PM
Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:01 AM
And then there’s Irina Dvorovenko’s Tchai Pas…..
Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:26 AM
But then, she dances everything as if it were Etudes......
With the exception of Grand Pas Classique, I generally dislike the Pause for a Round of Cannons pieces....if I never have to sit through another Don Q or Corsaire pdd I won't mind a bit.
The recent Tchai Pas performance at a gala which was wonderfully memorable, however, was Nina Ananiashvili's at the opening of ABT's Spring Season. 2002. I had not expected to like her in it, much, but she brought such an individual stamp and beautiful definition to her interpretation that it has always remained with me. She also wore red. white, and blue flowers in her hair as a remembrance of 9/11---it touched me very much.
Posted 06 June 2004 - 08:41 PM
Perhaps this is why the first performance that sprang to my mind was Judy Fugate and Peter Boal's toward the end of NYCB's earlier Balanchine Festival. They were not frequent partners in this piece, but had shared a number of ballets as partners. In that Tchai pas, both reached uncharacteristic levels of excitement, but both dancers had an innate quiet quality that tempered the fireworks.
I like to see it danced by couples who have performed together often and are comfortable with each other.
The best of both worlds, perhaps, but definitely magical.
Otherwise, Verdy -- as in everything she danced -- gave it such irresistible charm.
Posted 07 June 2004 - 10:40 AM
Posted 07 June 2004 - 04:49 PM
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