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Recent Ballet Faux Pas


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#16 Hans

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 12:06 PM

A friend of mine told me that Darci Kistler made a mistake onstage and said "S---!" so loud that at least the first ring could hear it.

#17 Cygnet

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:36 PM

Here's four that stand out in my memory. 1) Some years ago when ABT last danced "Sleeping Beauty" at the Shrine Auditorium, Victor Barbee's Carabosse cast the spell in the Prologue. Right at that moment when the cymbals crashed, one of the corps boys, a 'courtier' fainted. No, there was no hook to get him off either. Everyone continued until the end of the act. When the lights came up for intermission, some guy sitting behind me said 'well I hope he can keep his balance in the Rose Adagio.' 2) When the Kirov came to the same stage in 1992, there was a very loud crash backstage during the quiet section of Makhalina and Zaklinsky's Black Swan ppd. They weren't phased but the audience was. 3) When Vaziev was still a dancer and not the AD of the Maryinsky, he was paired with Terekhova in the Don Q ppd at the London Design Center. His left slipper got 'disengaged' during the first section of the coda. He hopped on one leg - to the music - while throwing it offstage, and continued his tour and coda in one slipper. 4) the drunken Bluebird ppd on Durante/Solymosi's video of SB: Leanne Benjamin and Peter Abegglen seemed to be under the influence :o .

#18 carbro

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 08:11 PM

When Vaziev was still a dancer . . . [h]is left slipper got 'disengaged' during the first section of the coda. He hopped on one leg - to the music - while throwing it offstage, and continued his tour and coda in one slipper.

Oh, Dan Duell had a Vaziev moment, as well! Forget which ballet. And poor Genevieve Gunther, dancing the William Tell pdd I think (it was something Bournonville) during her SAB workshop perf., had ribbons on both shoes untie. :( She's gone on to earn a Ph.D. in Shakespeare, so I guess All's Well that Ends Well. :o

During Gillian Murphy's second New York Swan Lake, Act II pdd, there was a huge disturbance in the front of the house -- someone's pre-adolescent child letting the whole Upper West Side know how much he didn't want to be there. I can only imagine how grateful Gillian must have been to be in the reassuring hands of Jose Carreno. :wub: She seemed to remain unfazed -- which is more than I can say for myself. The [presumed] mother refused to remove the offending child until Security took the decision out of her hands.

#19 emhbunhead

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 08:22 PM

Just a few weeks ago, Royal Ballet Cinderella, a random corps girl in a tutu jumped the gun on her entrance, ran gracefully out of the wing and down the ramp, realized she was wrong, turned around and ran gracefully back up the ramp and into the wing. only to return moments later with the rest of her cohorts

#20 Ostrich

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:07 AM

A few years ago the Russian National Ballet performed excerpts from different ballets. In the Waltz of the Flowers, the principal male dancer (can't remember names) must have been doing his own thing instead of paying attention to his ballerina because suddenly he realised that she was about to throw herself into his arms and he wasn't there to catch her! He made a wild dash across the stage and got there just in time.

In a performance of the Nutcracker by the Moscow Classical Ballet the two principal dancers showed their tempers on stage. That is, the male dancer just looked icy and the ballerina smiled sweetly at the audience all the time, but they positively refused to look at each other!

#21 ToThePointe

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 01:24 PM

In the early 90's the Bolshoi came to San Diego and performed Swan Lake. There was a dreaded "spot" on the floor and every single dancer that hit it went sliding and two actually fell down.

#22 kirovboy

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 03:17 PM

Ok, I never write stuff here, but I cant help it for this one! This was one I saw from onstage! Recently while touring with Houston Ballet, we brought cinderella to cleveland. Here was probably one of the most major faux pas's possible! It was the 2nd act, in the ballroom...and after all of the guests at the ball enter, stepping down a 3 foot platform and mingle a bit, the carriage brings cinderella in for her magical evening. Well, the carriage looks exactly like the one from the movie, its pulled by 4 white horses, followed by a coachman, then cinderella in the carriage, and a coachman on the back! There were problems the show before, so the nervous horses that dragged the carriage along a platform that was barely wide enough to fit the carriage had a stage hand direct them where to pull. We are standing on stage, and you hear...left ...left...NOOOOO!!! And well the back half of the carriage fell off the back of the 3 foot platform! The rear stagecoach boy jumped off the platform holding the back half of the carriage up, you could see 2 stage hands dive behind the platform to hold it up, Lauren Anderson practically fell over feet over head in the carriage, the front coachman fell about 8 feet off the top, as his whip went flying onstage. One of the four horses was practically pinned behind the front of the carriage, but galantly held it up, while the other horses just stood like deer in headlights(for all they could see was straight ahead with their masks) Well the music continued, and finally a loud crash announced the carriage being pushed back on the platform. The horses pulled forward, and the coachman opened the door, let cinderella out, and to add insult to injury, as Lauren stepped out of the carriage, her cape caught onto the carriage door and tore off, leaving her to abruptly jerk forward! Right after this, the corps does the waltz, which starts off slow and smooth, but Im positive the audience could see our shoulders shaking up and down as we all had a good laugh!

#23 oberon

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 05:00 PM

We aren't counting fall-downs as faux pas, but what if the person who fell can't continue? Twice at NYCB a couple years ago, dancers were injured onstage and were unable to finish the ballet.

Nikolaj Hubbe came leaping on in JEU DES CARTES and immediately crumpled to the stage and literally crawled into the wings. Janie Taylor, cool as a cucumber, improvised beautifully to fill in, and later Robt. Tewsley and Benjamin M managed to "cover" in the partnered sequences. The finale, where the ballerina dances from man to man to man was something of an puzzlement, I still cannot figure out how Janie managed to make it all look "right". As the applause started, the guy in front of me turned and said: "That's a really good ballet!" and I said, "Didn't you see what happened? The guy fell, the woman had to make up alot of stuff to keep it going..." No, he said, he hadn't noticed!

Later in the same season, Tewsley was hurt during VALSE-FAINTASIE and hopped off into the wings. Momentarily the stage was empty, then Yvonne Borree ran out and began wafting around as if nothing were amiss. The four girls also improvised; Borree seemed to invent a solo passage as she went along. Suddenly Benjamin Millepied came sailing onstage, and finished the ballet...he and Borree were beaming at each other during the bows. I happened to see Benjamin a few days later and asked him about it. He had danced in the first ballet and was about to leave the theatre when he just happened to stop in the wing to see how VALSE was going. As soon as Tewsley got hurt, Benjamin pulled on some tights, grabbed a vest that was handy, and ran on.

#24 Cliff

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 09:20 PM

This spring the ballet Chicago studio company presented a mostly Balanchine program. In one of the dances (I forgot which one) the women wore long dresses with decorative trim at the bottom. After a misplaced foot, a long arc of trim detached and was dragged along the stage. Suddenly it became very suspenseful. For several minutes the dance continued with the other dancers all making little side steps, and jumps, and adjustments to avoid further disaster. Finally there was a time when half the dancers were paused at the side of the stage. The dancer with the torn dress slipped offstage and returned seconds later with the loose material snipped off. The audience applauded.

#25 Ostrich

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 07:57 AM

I didn't think of this one right away, because it was a youth ballet performance, but it certainly was a faux pas and very funny to all of us in the audience that night.

A Wagnerian valkyre type ballet was performed with dancers for all the valkyres and a young trapeze artist from a circus on the single trapeze as the great god Wotan (or Wodan). A dancer, representing Freya, was also dangling up in the sky, beside "Wodan". At the end of the scene, the curtains didn't close - only the lights went out, but one could still see the shadowy figure of "Freya" as she was being lowered silently onto the stage. "Wodan", however, didn't wait for any lowering and jumped straight down - "fell from the sky' - with a resounding crash. Needless to say, the audience roared with laughter at the "god's" ungraceful descent.

#26 Treefrog

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 06:21 PM

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.

#27 klingsor

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 12:27 PM

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.

#28 Andrei

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 09:43 AM

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 ..."

#29 Alexandra

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 09:49 AM

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.)

#30 Giannina

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 10:48 AM

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

My laugh for the day!

Giannina


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