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What Makes A Dancer A Great Partner (Male&Female)PARTNERING


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#16 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 07:49 AM

Reading all these description of NYCB's Conrad Ludlow I can't help but think of NYCB current James Fayette. Like Ludlow I doubt that technically speaking we will ever see Fayette dance Rubies, Theme and Variations or Oberon but like Ludlow, Fayette has this wonderful ability to showcase his ballerinas to glorious effect. I think another important aspect that makes a great partner is the sense of protectiveness. A ballerina must know her partner is completely there for her. Something I think Fayette excels at. Ballets like Concerto Barocco, Emeralds, the Elegie or Valse Melancolique sections of Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, and Serenade, the cavalier in A Midsummer Night's Dream to just name a few Fayette gives the audience a feeling that the ballerina is not only the loveliness creature he has ever seen, but is totally in safe hands. Something I think all the ballerinas at NYCB must feel when they dance with him. I think that has a lot to do not just with his technical skill but also his physical strength - it's safe to say that he is, physically speaking, the strongest male in the company. There is something very wonderfully at seeing a powerfully strong man being very attentive and gentle to a delicate looking women. I would love to see him dance Afternoon of a Faun or Duo Concertant.

#17 Farrell Fan

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 09:37 AM

Having seen both Conrad Ludlow and James Fayette many times, I think the comparison by GeorgeB fan is right on the money.

When longer hair for men became acceptable, it proved a boon for Ludlow who was able to cover what my wife called his "sticky-outy ears."

#18 kfw

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 10:12 AM

What a wonderful description, GeorgeB fan. And Farrrell Fan, thanks for the laugh. I've only seen Fayette dance perhaps half a dozen times, but I'll add one thing, something I guess you've said at greater length. He very much looks like the gentleman.

#19 oberon

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:55 PM

Yes, GeorgeB fan, you are so right about James Fayette...I especially like him in SERENADE where at one point he must catch the various corps girls who come hurtling towards him. He does so with a sort of other-worldly gleam in his eyes. His hands are big, and he is strong and charismatic. While very different from Jock Soto, I see Fayette succeeding Jock in many roles and bringing a different and sort of "all-American" feel as opposed to Jock's exotic look.

Albert Evans is also a superb partner, in my estimation.

#20 Ari

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 06:37 PM

One wonderful partner who hasn't been mentioned yet is Joseph Duell. His physical strength and modest personality, and apparent fascination with what his partner was doing, made him the ideal cavalier. And his height was an added blessing. I miss him, as a dancer as well as partner.

#21 Paul Parish

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 11:33 PM

BALLERINAS HATE IT WHEN HTE PARTNERS HAVE SWEATY HANDS....

or hands like meat-hooks.

Nerves!!!!!! It can be hard for the audience to see, often, but some very attractive male dancers have been nerve-wracking to the ballerinas....

not going to name any names.

On the other hand, the dancer who can really tune in, stay calm, and help just enough--

in San Francisco, that's Damian Smith -- himself a very strong technician, and a very musical dancer, he is more than reliable, by all accounts, they love to dance with him...

#22 fandeballet

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 04:53 AM

How about Edward Villela? I never saw him dance live. How was his partnering skills? My hunch was that he was pretty good

#23 Helene

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Posted 01 February 2005 - 11:56 AM

One wonderful partner who hasn't been mentioned yet is Joseph Duell.  His physical strength and modest personality, and apparent fascination with what his partner was doing, made him the ideal cavalier.  And his height was an added blessing.  I miss him, as a dancer as well as partner.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Joseph Duell was the only male dancer I've ever seen live who had Jacques d'Amboise's uncanny ability to make the audience see not only his partner but also the entire stage action through his eyes, not just seeing him focus on his partner or other members of the cast. I was struck by this particularly during the last scene of the revival of Firebird in the mid-80's, and was astonished that such a humble, self-effacing dancer could command such authority.

#24 bart

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 05:23 PM

And then, there are the men who are NOT particularly good partners. I came across this exchange between Larissa Lezhnina and Marc Haegeman in a DanceViewTimes interview linked on another thread.

MH: Who was your favorite partner? I've put a key phrase in boldface. Lezhnina: That's very hard to say. I must say that Ruzimatov wasn't the best partner. Still he did something. [laughing] Almost everyone in the ballet world knows that he's not a good partner.

MH: Why not?

Lezhnina: Because Ruzimatov is a natural dancer, but not a natural partner. It's not easy to explain. Partnering should be natural. He just doesn't feel where a partner should be.



Conversely, I suppose a good partner DOES feel where his partner should be (which I take to men: where she is, where she needs to go, what she should look like during the transition).

You read, in reviews of school performances by School of American Ballet, for example, of certain young men already having very advanced partnering skills. Is this, as Lezhnina seems to think and many of us assume, a natural gift that you either have or don't have? Is it possible to develop partnering excellence via training and experience?

#25 MakarovaFan

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:19 AM

I think Vladimir Vasiliev must be mentioned as a great partner. You see film of him dancing with his wife Maximova, Bessmertnova and even Plisetskaya. He is so attentive and sensitive to his ballerina's needs without compromising any of his virility, showing his partner off to her best advantage and possessing tremendous physical strength.

Another great Russian partner had to be Yuri Soloviev. Kolpakova was devastated when he died and I'm sure she wasn't the only Kirov ballerina who found him impossible to replace.

#26 Nanarina

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:19 AM

And then, there are the men who are NOT particularly good partners. I came across this exchange between Larissa Lezhnina and Marc Haegeman in a DanceViewTimes interview linked on another thread.

[size="2"]MH: Who was your favorite partner? I've put a key phrase in boldface.[/size] [size="2"] Lezhnina: That's very hard to say. I must say that Ruzimatov wasn't the best partner. Still he did something. [laughing] Almost everyone in the ballet world knows that he's not a good partner.[/size]

[size="2"] MH: Why not?[/size]

[size="2"] Lezhnina: Because Ruzimatov is a natural dancer, but not a natural partner. It's not easy to explain. Partnering should be natural. He just doesn't feel where a partner should be.

[/size]

[size="2"]Conversely, I suppose a good partner DOES feel where his partner should be (which I take to men: where she is, where she needs to go, what she should look like during the transition).[/size]

You read, in reviews of school performances by School of American Ballet, for example, of certain young men already having very advanced partnering skills. Is this, as Lezhnina seems to think and many of us assume, a natural gift that you either have or don't have? Is it possible to develop partnering excellence via training and experience?



#27 Nanarina

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:25 AM


And then, there are the men who are NOT particularly good partners. I came across this exchange between Larissa Lezhnina and Marc Haegeman in a DanceViewTimes interview linked on another thread.

[size="2"]MH: Who was your favorite partner? I've put a key phrase in boldface.[/size] [size="2"] Lezhnina: That's very hard to say. I must say that Ruzimatov wasn't the best partner. Still he did something. [laughing] Almost everyone in the ballet world knows that he's not a good partner.[/size]

[size="2"] MH: Why not?[/size]

[size="2"] Lezhnina: Because Ruzimatov is a natural dancer, but not a natural partner. It's not easy to explain. Partnering should be natural. He just doesn't feel where a partner should be.

[/size]

[size="2"]Conversely, I suppose a good partner DOES feel where his partner should be (which I take to men: where she is, where she needs to go, what she should look like during the transition).[/size]

You read, in reviews of school performances by School of American Ballet, for example, of certain young men already having very advanced partnering skills. Is this, as Lezhnina seems to think and many of us assume, a natural gift that you either have or don't have? Is it possible to develop partnering excellence via training and experience?





I can relate to Ruzimatov not being a very good partner, he always seemed to me to give the impression his performance came first, His style of dance was very exaggerated, and flamboyant, which kind of left the impression he was the most important dancer on the stage. and his partner came second.

#28 jsmu

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 03:42 PM

Vasiliev, even on film, was a magnificent partner, especially with Maximova.
Their Don Q pas de deux was virtually unsurpassable (especially on the occasions, though I've only seen it on film, when Maximova whipped off 32 fouettes with her hands on her waist the ENTIRE TIME...! Talk about core strength!), and Vasiliev gave the impression of endless strength and capacity--almost like Ludlow.

Two NYCB imports who are rarely given anything like enough credit either as brilliant soloists or as sympathetic and subtle partners were Helgi Tomasson and Ib Andersen. Kirkland has many times rhapsodized in print over Tomasson's grace and elegance in partnering, and Andersen was wonderful with everyone from Farrell and Ashley to Mazzo and Hlinka (from tallest to shortest).

#29 papeetepatrick

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 04:59 PM

Andersen was wonderful with everyone from Farrell and Ashley to Mazzo and Hlinka (from tallest to shortest).


Yes. I saw him do 'Mozartiana' with Farrell and later 'Valse Triste' with McBride. As well as many other times as well, but those I remember best. He had this very understated sensuality.

#30 kfw

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 05:16 PM


Andersen was wonderful with everyone from Farrell and Ashley to Mazzo and Hlinka (from tallest to shortest).


Yes. I saw him do 'Mozartiana' with Farrell and later 'Valse Triste' with McBride. As well as many other times as well, but those I remember best. He had this very understated sensuality.

I remember being captivated by him in "Opus 19/The Dreamer" with Saland during the Robbins Festival.


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