Seen and not seen . . .Ballets better (so far) in the mind.
Posted 06 August 2004 - 11:28 AM
Posted 27 November 2004 - 02:40 PM
Posted 28 November 2004 - 09:20 AM
Posted 28 November 2004 - 06:34 PM
Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:04 AM
In so many cases, a few glimpses remain in the mind -- some are transcendant, some are small and even silly. Fonteyn and Nureyev in Romeo and Juliet -- leaping in tandem across the stage, with Nureyev jumping just a little bit higher and remaining in the air just a little longer. Showing her up? Protecting her? That's the memory that triggers the ideal performance in my mind. Or, rather, makes an ideal performance out of what was actually rather lackluster and quickly forgotten.
"Firebird" at the NYCB at the old City Center. I was a child, but I can still recall the pallid Russian princesses, the cardboard, uninteresting Prince, the silly gobblin-like creatures like something out of a children's pageant. And the great music, which I had not heard before or even knew existed. I cannot visualize and feel the entire evening because at center was Melissa Hayden (this child's favorite NYCB dancer at that time). Sharp and imperious. (Taught me the power and danger of a pointed foot.) Then the seductive and sinuous. Those undulating arms. (Lesson: that it was possible to produce wavy, graceful, apparantly random movements perfectly and identically each time.)
Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:38 AM
Bart - welcome to Ballet Talk! Those sound like wonderful, fascinating memories of performances a lot of us were never fortunate enough to see. I hope you'll be sharing more of them with us!
Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:13 PM
Something that didn't quite make the impression I hoped it would was Ballet Imperial. I'd been DYING to see it for years, having adored the excerpt used in the Royal Opera House's re-opening gala in 1999. When I saw it recently (Royal Ballet), it was nice but it was over too quickly and afterwards it was like, 'What just happened? Oh well.' (Bussell was 1st ballerina, make of that what you will. ) I must say, though, it was a relief to find out that the 'flat-footed turns' that I'd read about were not as weird as I had pictured in my head!
Posted 25 February 2007 - 01:24 PM
I have a feeling that some of the great performances were done way back when. For example, Afternoon of a Faune & Petrouchka, w/ Nijinsky, or The Dying Swan.
Posted 25 February 2007 - 03:39 PM
I've seen it at BAM (Pennsylvania Ballet) and Lissner (Washington Ballet) -- both about a hundred years ago. Seemed truer and more satisfying on the smaller stages.
Posted 25 February 2007 - 06:23 PM
I'm sure there's a bunch who have seen and loved this one.
Posted 09 April 2007 - 12:29 PM
But, like "nysusan" some bits and pieces are remembered with awe: Blair's version with Makarova/Nagy live or tape (good sets too), and better than Makarova/Dowell; Martine van Hamel's statuesque beauty and perfect control, and Susan Jaffe's debut and amazing extensions.
GISELLE: Always wait for those Grand Pas pique arabesque lifts to be timed like Gelsey & Baryshnikov, but never seen yet, so that perfection I guess will just live in my mind.
APOLLO--it's either too spiky, too slow, too wobbly, too technical, too...? Love the ballet, but so far hasn't matched mind/memory.
ROUND of ANGELS: The ballet has SO much resonance with me, it's hard to just watch. AND the fact that I haven't seen it live in almost 20years (does anyone besides Joffrey do it?)and it wasn't filmed that great for "Dance in America" AND not released, so have to trek to NYPL to see that so-so version.
Ditto: SINATRA SUITE--too much info, backstage memories etc. affect my viewing, and everyone still needs lots of work to match my mindset.
NUTCRACKER: I can't seem to recapture the investment/excitement I had when dancing it. So, except when required to film it, I've stayed away. So maybe I am still missing something?
Not exactly a production problem, but definately something that has an impact on the enjoyment of a production:
Partnerships--So many times I've seen a gorgeous, technically perfect, artistically expressive dance® that became that koan of "one hand clapping" because the partnership didn't work. THAT is depressing, and will always remain better in my mind, since great partnerships seem 'few and far between' these days. And if the partnership/dancing isn't interesting, no amount of staging/production will cure it.
Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:10 PM
I have the opposite take on Apollo. It's one of those masterpieces -- like Hamlet (the play) -- that I actually love to see in in a wide variety of approaches. Within reason, of course, and always assuming a high level of musicality and technique I suppose that's because I've never seen -- or imagined -- one ideal Apollo or set of muses.
Same -- though to a lesser extent -- with Giselle, where I DO have an ideal image in my head, but usually quite happy to suspend disbelief and enjoy different approaches to Act I especially.
Posted 09 April 2007 - 03:11 PM
Posted 09 April 2007 - 03:56 PM
I can't stand 'Mayerling', and never want to see it again, no matter who is in it. I actually would have liked to 'imagine' it, though, if I hadn't seen it, which even took that little pleasure away (I'm still getting over what was done to the 'Mephisto Waltz') but I definitely like to imagine all the wonderful performances people have talked about to Philip Glass scores, because 'it only takes a moment' and then it's all over with. Unfortunately, I did see Robbins's 'Glass Pieces' with all those 'wage slaves' trudging across the stage, dehumanized and deeply, if temporarily empathized with and pitied by the parterre box holders...
I don't care much for 'Raymonda', although I'd go see a great production if anyone thinks to warn me. Glazunov can be lovely, but a little bit goes a long way. I wonder if there are small works with just a few Glazunov waltzes, 5-9, which would be very nice, I think. There's one, I think in D Major, which is just ravishing when you hear its opening notes.
Several have explained that the truncated version of 'Apollo' is inferior, but I'm not experienced enough to dislike this version, which I have seen several times with Nikolaj Hubbe in the last few years, and never gotten tired of it.
I also feel this way, and that is wonderfully said.
Posted 09 April 2007 - 05:14 PM
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