mussel

Recent Ballet Faux Pas

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I don't know the on-stage consequences of this, but several years ago at a Joffrey Nutcracker, one of the male dancers was entertaining the little dolls in their backstage dressing room. He was wonderful, regaling them with stories and telling little jokes. Suddenly, his face got as white as is possible under stage makeup. "I've missed my cue!" he moaned as he dashed off.

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Gelsey... the end of her one and only Swan Lake, when the vehicle that transports Odette and Siegfried to the Hereafter was out of order.

A Giselle with Marianna Tcherkassky when she stopped the performance because the orchestra was playing the wrong music.  (I was not in the house for this.)

I always thought it was Gelsey's choice to end "Swan Lake" that way. When you're dead, you're dead. Nuts, I liked it that way.

I was at the Marianna-Fernando

"Giselle". Pretty sure it was Paul Connelly in the pit who got confused. I could see Marianna and Fernando talking to each other and they made a very musical exit as the curtain came down. Then they started the ballet from the beginning.

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In "D.Q." approximately every 5th performance is going with some "confusion" from the donkey or the horse, so in Mariinsky they have a special person with the shovel waiting in the wings :yes:

When I danced "Bronze Cavalier" in the middle of love's adagio my pants was ripped off on my but :) . This is no way to take pants off in the first date in XIX century, so I have to keep going, trying not to turn my back to the audience. Immediately after this I have a variation, and I managed to change choreography, now trying hide my but not just from the audience but from my partner as well, who was staying on the side of the stage :shrug:. After this I still have to be on the stage, because she is making variation for me. So, I came to the wing and hide my back into it with half of my body and face still on the stage, my wardrobe mistress quickly sewed it up during her dance and we had continued happily ever after :D .

For Opera' fans. "Eugeny Onegin". Duel between Onegin and Lensky, when Lensky should be shot to the death. The sound of the shot usually produced from the backstage. Onegin did his shot - no sound. Poor guy back stage misfired all clip, no sound! Lensky couldn't wait any longer, the music continues, so he collapsed.

Onegin:"Killed?" Second:"No, died from the heartattack ..."

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It's Andrei :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: It's so good to read you again, and what great stories! I think sometimes we forget how good dancers are at improvising!

Your Onegin story reminded me of one (not recent, alas, as the thread requested, but good anyway). The Prince in Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty (the Canadian production) sweeps in and immediately shoots a bow and arrow at a target. He always misses, of course, and so there's an arrow that pops out so that the court can applaud. Well, once Nureyev actually hit a bulls-eye. And the fake arrow popped out anyway. (Not surprisingly, he seemed to take full credit for both.)

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<<Onegin:"Killed?" Second:"No, died from the heartattack ..." >>

My laugh for the day!

Giannina

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A few years ago at NYCB during a performance of Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Alexandra Ansanelli who was dancing the Kay Mazzo part was perform the final Capriccio section. In the final the prinicpal ballerinas are wearing tiny black skirts and as Ansanelli was dancing it was coming very apparent that her skirt was becoming undone. As she was spinning into a brief pose just become she was to run off stage her skirt was clearly about to fell off. If it wasn't for Jock Soto - partner par excellence - without missing a beat catching the skirt as they ran off the skirt would have been laying on the floor!

I also remember a performance of Serenade perform by The Bolshoi Ballet at Lincoln Center. Just after the first movement of the first section of the ballet is perform, the dancer performing the first solo started to dance across the stage. Just as she is about to do what I guess you would can call a swimming arabesque because of the movement of the arms, she fell face first on the stage - HARD! The sound was so loud I would have been surprise if people outside on street didn't hear it. But without missing a beat the soloist jump up and continue dancing. When she left the stage we in the audience gave her the most thunderous applause of approval I ever heard.

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:P Last year, the RWB brought their "Nutcracker" to Ottawa. Local dancers were used for the mice, etc. During the battle scene one little over-excited mice threw her rather large carrot very forcefully out towards centre stage, where it flew off the stage and bonked :wacko: the first trombone player on the head. Needless to say, the AD was told to rein in the energy of those darn mice.

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Now, I realize that it is most unkind to laugh at others' misfortunes---but I cannot seem to stop laughing here...some of these posts of mistakes, bloopers etc are hilarious---I can just see them in my mind's eye----

I haven't seen anything like that happen at any of the performances that I have seen----but of course, we are all human, and it is human nature for goofs to occur :)

I also want to comment on how awesome these other dancers are for being able to improvise so quickly---that is definately what I call thinking on your feet *toes* hehehehe :rolleyes: Yes yes, I know..bad pun :wub:

Lady Fairy

Edited by Lady Fairy

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[ADMIN NOTE: I apologize for the awkward merge, but I wanted to be sure that the new thread and the older one made one complete one. Thanks to carbro for finding the original. I've deleted the housekeeping posts.]

Ballet performances are live theatre, where sometimes anything can happen...Has anyone seen a memorable mistake either with the performing artists or production or music disasters? Has anyone attended a performance that had to be suspended midway for any reason? I've experienced and seen examples of all of the above! Here's an example: ABT 70's...Cynthia Gregory and Alexander Godunov in "Giselle"...1st Act , First Scene... Albrecht is playfully following Giselle, both doing "grande jetes". Cynthia's extended back leg in the jump hits Alexander's extended front leg during the leaps. They both end up sitting on the stage on their "derrieres" looking incredibly surprised!

Edited by hockeyfan228

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well i saw a performance of etudes in chicago where i seem to recall eleanor d'antuono falling on her back and ted kivitt falling on top of her..

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Laura Hormigon and Oscar Torrado of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba guested with the Canadian Ballet Theatre for their production of Giselle last year.

The first night, at the start of the daisy picking scene, Albrecht went to pluck a daisy from the garden in front of Giselle's house and couldn't manage to extract just one from the bouquet "planted" there, and the whole bouquet came up with the flower he was trying to pick. With too little music to do otherwise, he held the bouquet out to Giselle with such aplomb as if to say "I give you all these flowers to show you the depth of my true love!"

The next night, the daisy picking went as it should. During the intermission I overheard an audience member speaking with her friend: "I wonder why he didn't give Giselle the whole bouquet of flowers tonight? Why did he change it? I liked that part, it was so nice!"

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One of the most priceless faux pas I've ever had the privilege of witnessing was in the final scene of Romeo and Juliet. Poor, distraught Romeo could not for the life of him (awful pun) get his bottle of poison out of his vest pocket. Groping around while holding a limp Juliet in his arms, the bottle was either stuck somehow in the pocket or missing entirely. The conductor slowed the orchestra way down to give him extra wiggle room to somehow resolve the problem, but eventually the confused Romeo gave up and mimed swallowing the poison. It looked like the classic "where did I put my keys?" scenario--- patting all over the vest looking for a bulge, digging in the pockets, looking around...

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:yahoo:

The conductor slowed the orchestra way down to give him extra wiggle room to somehow resolve the problem

Yet another reason why dancers prefer live music.

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I'm not sure if it has been mentioned, but during a live televised performance of 'Romeo and Juliet' with Makarova and McKenzie--McKenzie played the final death scene in his leg warmers...and it is there on tape for all to see.

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I saw a performance of the Stuttgart Ballet many years ago; they were touring Sleeping Beauty. I just recall that the Blue Bird, whose first name was Stephen, had bright green leg warmers over his blue costume, which were there for the entire pas de deux and variation and mercifully gone for the coda.

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I'm not sure if it has been mentioned, but during a live televised performance of 'Romeo and Juliet' with Makarova and McKenzie--McKenzie played the final death scene in his leg warmers...and it is there on tape for all to see.

This is so strange. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I wonder why he did this? Actually I think they were sweat pants (grey) and they were baggy.

Richard

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Yes indeed, poor fellow, they migrated south quite a bit before the end of the ballet. His curtain calls were sans sweatpants, but by then, there went the video sales! :yahoo::blink::wub:

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Although I'm hazy on the other details, Cynthia Gregory was definitely the Odette in a "Swan Lake" I saw I THINK in Santa Fe. Anyway, at the very end, just as Odette (as this production had it) was about to climb some rocks to throw herself into the water, a stage hand casually sauntered out from the wings. He got well out onto the stage before he glanced towards the auditorium, realized it wasn't a rehearsal, panicked, and ducked behind a prop. Much laughter.

And then there was a summer stock performance of "Oklahoma!" in which the ballerina's skirt simply fell off! Her partner picked it up, flung it into the wings, and they went on with the performance. There were the inevitable jokes later about changing lyrics: "Don't start collecting things/Give me my skirt and my glove."

Anybody else wish Robbins would have rechoreographed the end of "Other Dances"? I've seen that final lift muffed more often than I can remember.

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I'm not sure if it has been mentioned, but during a live televised performance of 'Romeo and Juliet' with Makarova and McKenzie--McKenzie played the final death scene in his leg warmers...and it is there on tape for all to see.

This is so strange. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. I wonder why he did this? Actually I think they were sweat pants (grey) and they were baggy.

Richard

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Thank you, aurora, for reviving this thread. Surely this is the longest faux pas in ballet history.

A small faux-pas-within-a-faux-pas. As the curtain rises for the first curtain call, the announcer intones, "Music by Prokofiev, choreography by "Sir Ernest (pause) Sir Kenneth MacMillan."

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Thanks for that video of McKenzie in his sweat pants. I laughed out loud. I recall two fun bloopers. One was Stella Abrera at ABT. There was a scene where she has to pull a handkerchief from her cleavage. ( I guess this must have been Othello.). Well, I guess the darn thing must have slipped down her dress because she was endlessly searching her cleavage for it, but it was nowhere to be found. The other fun blooper, also ABT, involved Carmen Corella as Myrta. There is a scene where she has to pull a branch from what looks to be a tree. The branch would not move. She pulled on with all her force, without success. My all time favorite blooper was not at the ballet, but at the opera Aida at the Met. The triumphal march in this staging has a white horse. The horse decided to, um, do its business on stage during the performance. The performance proceeded as the singers studiously avoided the pile and tried not to laugh. Suddenly, a cleanup crew dressed as slave servants in the production comes out with a bucket and other tools to clean the mess up in a jiffy. Ah, those Franco Zeferelli productions with live animals.

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My all time favorite blooper was not at the ballet, but at the opera Aida at the Met. The triumphal march in this staging has a white horse. The horse decided to, um, do its business on stage during the performance. The performance proceeded as the singers studiously avoided the pile and tried not to laugh. Suddenly, a cleanup crew dressed as slave servants in the production comes out with a bucket and other tools to clean the mess up in a jiffy. Ah, those Franco Zeferelli productions with live animals.

Fortunately , there are no animals in Act 3 of Aida. Imagine poor Aida singing "mai piu, mai piu" (which sounds like "my pew")

over and over as she does in Act 3 with an extra little (or not so little) deposit on the stage next to her....

Ok, corny joke , I know. :sweatingbullets:

My recollection, along the same lines was a Cavalleria (another Zeffirelli production), where the donkey couldn't wait.

Same thing, the cast chewed the scenery, but carefully avoided a certain spot on the stage. Finally a maintenance man, in a peasant costume, came padding stiffly out on to the stage with a broom and a long handled dust pan. The dustpan was boldly stenciled "Metropolitan Opera House"

I could make out the letters all the way up in the Family Circle standing room (with binoculars)

So much for the illusion of being in Sicily.

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I wonder why he did this? Actually I think they were sweat pants (grey) and they were baggy
Among those who were at the performance with me on that unfortunate occasion are friends who insist they were legwarmers. I'm glad to have this evidence to the contrary. :thumbsup: Thank you, Aurora.

I suspect that what happened was this: Right after the bedroom scene, Kevin put on his sweats to keep his legs warm. Then, long before he was due to enter the crypt, the dressers draped the cape over him. In the interim and with all the excitement and tension of a live broadcast, the sweatpants were ... whoops! :blushing: ... forgotten by all parties. :wallbash:

Ultimately, it seems not to have thwarted his career path. :dunno:

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At what point do you think McKenzie realized he was wearing sweats? Clearly, when he goes for the vial of poison he is aware.

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I saw a clip on balletoman.com from Fille in which the donkey/pony taking all to the picnic just sat down on the stage. No one could move him. Alain tried poking him with his umbrellas while still dancing his variation, but to no avail.

I read that in one of the Bolshoi's first visit to California someone stepped out of a painted door right on to the stage where Ulanova was dancing.

And a faux pas that I saw was at the old Met in the opera La Boheme. Rulodpho fell onto Mimi's deathbed and the bed collapsed!

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