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Alicia Markova


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 03:57 AM

Dame Alicia Markova died today, the day after her 94th birthday. One of the great ballerinas of the twentieth century.

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 04:34 AM

May she have eternal rest;
May light perpetual shine upon her.

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 08:16 AM

I'm sorry to read that -- and, so close to the death of Maude Lloyd, this has been a bad few days for British ballet. I was just watching bits of Markova dancing on the "Portrait of Giselle" video, and was really astonished by the strength -- light strength, but strength -- and clarity of her dancing.

#4 sandik

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 09:45 AM

I was just watching bits of Markova dancing on the "Portrait of Giselle" video, and was really astonished by the strength -- light strength, but strength -- and clarity of her dancing.

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I love that video -- I wish it was still commerically available. She is everything you say, but also, I thought, a very interesting actress. Her "counting petals" sequence had a fascinating abstract quality to it. I know that the current taste is for realistic Giselles, especially in the first act, but this was a kind of abstraction of emotion that flowed seamelessly into the dancing itself.

What awful news. She was a link to a part of English ballet that seems to be slipping away.

#5 rg

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 10:57 AM

hoping to post a photo of AM on 'ballet history'

#6 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 11:05 AM

I'm sad they're gone, but impressed by both of their amazing lives. 96 and 94 years in extraodinary lives is not a bad run at all. Hats off to both of them.

#7 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 12:05 PM

I of course have never seen this glorious lady of dance perform, however I have read enough about the history of 20th century ballet to know that Dame Alicia Markova was not only one of the towering titans of classical ballet, but also one of it's most historically important figures. The first British-born Prima Ballerina Assoluta to enjoy international fame and love from an adoring audience, she along with Dame Ninette de Valois, Sir Frederick Ashton and Dame Margot Fonteyn set the foundation of what became the British ballet style. She was to many one of, if not the, greatest Giselle that ever dance. I wish I could have seen her perform it!!

I also understand she was a gracious and lovely human being who was always giving of her knowledge and love of the art form she cherished so much. And from evidence of her autobiograhpy a wonderful storyteller. Her passing truly marks the end of one of the most extraoridinary, significant and magnificent eras in the history of ballet.

MAY THE GRACE OF GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU, DAME ALICIA

#8 carbro

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 01:21 PM

I recently saw a clip (on Classic Arts Showcase -- what a resource!) of her coaching a young dancer in her role in Chant du Rossignol. She recalled her initiation into Stravinsky ("Don't Count!" she remembered him instructing her. "Absorb the music.") What a charming reminiscence, full of her youthful innocence. And a patient, nurturing coach. And how lucky for the ballet world that she stayed involved and active as long as she did.

#9 Amy Reusch

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Posted 02 December 2004 - 08:09 PM

of her coaching a young dancer in her role in Chant du Rossignol

That was one of the Balanchine Foundation's projects, I think.

There was a time, I think, that ballerinas were expected to look like Markova... to the point where, I believe, blonde was considered not quite right. Perhaps the way young dancers were once trying to look like Suzanne Farrell.

#10 sandik

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 09:16 AM

BBC World News ran a very nice piece last night (or rather, I saw it last night) that included a clip from her Giselle, some footage of her coaching the Sugar Plum and what looked to be hand held footage from the old Mercury Theater (with that staircase in the background) I didn't recognize the work in this last one -- can anyone here identify it?

#11 Dale

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 09:35 AM

There's a video report to the right of this obit on the bbc, but I'm not sure if it is the one sandik mentioned.

http://news.bbc.co.u...arts/229664.stm

#12 Jane Simpson

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 10:00 AM

It's Ashton's Foyer de Danse, I think.

#13 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 02:59 PM

It's Ashton's Foyer de Danse, I think.

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I do have BBC World News, but what a pity, I missed this.
In fact, I never saw Markova perform live, but I would have loved to see her Giselle. I have been told that she was "the" Giselle, even when she was getting on.

#14 Amy Reusch

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 07:26 PM

It's been so long since I read her biography, I'm afraid my memory isn't holding up... but weren't there attempts to sabotage her Giselle in New York? Something about the costume going missing and turning up soiled ...and ... was it.. a note with a death threat? I can't remember why anyone would want to threaten her.

#15 Alexandra

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Posted 03 December 2004 - 07:52 PM

Hey! The woman just died!! Seriously, gossip about dead people is still gossip. If someone wants to read Markova's biography and post about an incident in her life, that's one thing, but I don't think it's helpful to speculate about half-remembeed stories.

She really had a remarkable life, child star, prima ballerina in both the Old World and the New, founder of a company (what is now English National Ballet). I'm not sure even our most senior posters will remember her dancing, but if anyone does have dancing memories I hope they'll post them.

Edited by Alexandra, 03 December 2004 - 07:57 PM.



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