Your Own Dream Ballet and Cast
Posted 06 February 1999 - 09:08 AM
If you were able to stage any ballet(s), danced by any dancers, past or present, what would this (these) ballet(s) be, and who would dance in it (them?)
Celia, thinking hard about her own choices.
Posted 06 February 1999 - 11:11 PM
I'd like to see all the great dancers in all the roles I didn't see them do in real life, for starters. When I first got into ballet, I was just grateful that I'd caught a glimpse of Fonteyn and Sibley -- then it dawned on me that there were people who had had the pleasure of watching those dancers their whole careers. Gr-r-r-r-r.
There are too many performances in that category to count, so I'll go with some "might have beens" or "should have beens."
Sibley and Dowell in "La Sylphide." Ashton wanted the ballet for the Royal in the '60s, but the Danes wouldn't give it to him.
Svetlana Beriosova and Henning Kronstam in anything -- they were supposed to be a partnership, and several people tried several times to "matchmake" them, but chance and politics intervened.
Makarova and Nureyev, together or separately, in the Balanchine repertory.
The Bolshoi dancing the Massine symphonic ballets. The Kirov in an all-Balanchine season.
Gelsey Kirkland in all the roles that should have been her birthright.
I'm all out of money now.
[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited 02-07-99).]
Posted 07 February 1999 - 01:29 PM
Posted 08 February 1999 - 04:36 PM
Posted 08 February 1999 - 06:10 PM
Posted 08 February 1999 - 07:18 PM
If we're going to do specific things that we want to see in addition to imaginary things, then I'd have to spend the first few days in Heaven at the Fonteyn exhibit: Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Daphnis and Chloe, if I could only have three. And I never got to see Ulanova or Plisetskaya at all -- Ulanova as Giselle and Juliet, please, and Plisetskaya in Don Q, and the two of them in Baksichirai. I suppose one's afterlife could not be complete without a glimpse of Nijinsky and Pavlova. I'd let them choose (anything but Spectre and Dying Swan). And Gerda Karstens' Madge, which can still give those who saw it shivers. And then there's the entire 19th century.
Posted 08 February 1999 - 11:28 PM
I just could not forget Wayne Sleep's puck ! Amazing !
Posted 09 February 1999 - 10:32 AM
Posted 09 February 1999 - 11:54 PM
He is on the tape of the Royal Ballet's Ashton, with Dowell and Sibley and Ashton/Helpman as the step-sisters...
I thought he was a mess ! He's got the look and the charm, but his dancing was just not there...
But you are right about his 'bottom'...very touching !
Posted 10 February 1999 - 12:51 AM
I'm too lazy to look him up, but I think Grant was born in 1925, and I think the Cinderella was filmed in 1969 (?), so he was 44. His Tirenio in the film of Ondine is better. I just trust contemporary accounts that he was a very strong and unusual dancer. Also, a British accounts say that he gave the jester a sense of irony that hasn't been seen since.
Sorry for dragging the point out, and I don't mean to quibble for the sake of quibbling. It's interesting -- and scary -- to realize what an impact a video can have. A whole career comes down to a missed pirouette, and that's what becomes history.
Posted 14 February 1999 - 01:15 PM
Grant had been coaching Howells as Alain for the recent series of RB performances, so not surprisingly he had no problems with the excerpts Howells showed us. Nor did the rest of us - he has been widely hailed as the best Alain since Grant himself, though he is far from a carbon copy, having developed his own different approach to the role. (He is taller and slimmer than Grant.) (This, incidentally, should quiet the complaints of dancers and younger ballet goers that we oldsters will never admit that anyone is as good as the original casts: I would be quite happy to see Howells alternate with Grant in my dream casts for Fille.)
Things were very different when they came to look at the Jester, which Howells has been dancing but without the benefit of Grant's coaching. He went through the Jester's solos from Act 2 as he'd been taught them and Grant stopped him at least three times and said what he was doing was not authentic. The original version, which he described, was in every case more difficult and more interesting. Grant suggested that the reason for these changes having crept in was that he himself, when he grew too old to manage the proper steps, had changed them so he could get through; and it was at that stage that the video was made - and he suggested RB casts are now being taught from that.
We so often hear about and speculate about 'erosion' and how it occurs, and to see someone who absolutely knows the authentic version picking out the bits that have gone wrong was just riveting. I only hope the RB will take it on board!
Posted 14 February 1999 - 08:47 PM
He is quite a character...fun and quite charming...
He helped a lot on Ashton's 'Facade'...
It is a very hard piece to show on this continent...the humour has to be right !
And his help was very appreciated...
We need more coach like him...
People who knows from their own experiences...
Posted 23 February 1999 - 07:08 PM
Posted 27 February 1999 - 05:26 PM
Sorry I was so late in posting my own list, but I could not quite make up my mind. Now follows a completely wild list, mainly of dancers/ ballets whose combination made me think "What If?..." Tell me what you think, and feel free to poke fun.
This might seem silly, but what about Tallchief and Nijinsky in something vibrant, like Firebird, or the Blue Bird pdd?
Nureyev and Farrell in something non-abstract and majestic. The original Swan Lake?
I wonder what Fonteyn would have made out of Balanchine - perhaps somebody (Alexandra?) who has seen her dance might have an answer. I know that the legs up to there style was not her thing, but she seems to have been such a phenomenal dancer that it is impossible for her not to have made the audience see in Balanchine something which has not been seen before. What Balanchine ballets, if any, do you see her in?
Baryshnikov in Corsaire, because of his impetuosity, with a dancer who portrays fragility. Fonteyn again, or maybe... Pavlova? Asylmuratova?
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