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Best "Balancing Acts" You've Seen??


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#31 Gina Ness

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:22 PM

Thank you, cubanmiamiboy, for posting Viengsay Valdes's Rose Adagio. Her balances were amazing...the best I have ever seen...wow! Even though the choreography is a bit different in some places, it didn't go so far as to spoil the dance and the scene, for me, anyway...She was very sweet and charming in her demeanor, which is just so vital for this famous adagio. She was Aurora...not just a technical whiz. I love her!

#32 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 09:18 AM

Thank you, cubanmiamiboy, for posting Viengsay Valdes's Rose Adagio. Her balances were amazing...the best I have ever seen...wow! Even though the choreography is a bit different in some places, it didn't go so far as to spoil the dance and the scene, for me, anyway...She was very sweet and charming in her demeanor, which is just so vital for this famous adagio. She was Aurora...not just a technical whiz. I love her!


My pleasure Gina.

And then, here are two examples of just what certainly should NOT happen in the RA.

No, no... :pinch:



NO,NO,NO!!! :wallbash:



#33 Qbendanny

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:31 PM

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I have seen Viengsay Valdes in a complete "Beauty" for the Cuban Ballet. The production is an antique in style and choreography that is not always in sync with the score. This production may have looked good on Alonso who was a master of "Lithograph style" poses,but not on Valdes. She is too earthy and real for that artificial dust sprinkling. Also, the adorned LouisXIV wigs in the grand pas' are for me outdated. Let Viengsay be Viengsay, the beautiful, exotic, tropical beauty and princess she is, not an old lithograph collecting dust through the decades. Her balances have no equal in the world today. I'm sure she would agree that another production is needed...Shhhhhh.... Don't let Alonso hear that. Danny

#34 MakarovaFan

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:31 PM


Thank you, cubanmiamiboy, for posting Viengsay Valdes's Rose Adagio. Her balances were amazing...the best I have ever seen...wow! Even though the choreography is a bit different in some places, it didn't go so far as to spoil the dance and the scene, for me, anyway...She was very sweet and charming in her demeanor, which is just so vital for this famous adagio. She was Aurora...not just a technical whiz. I love her!


My pleasure Gina.

And then, here are two examples of just what certainly should NOT happen in the RA.

No, no... :pinch:



NO,NO,NO!!! :wallbash:



OMG, Somova's hyperextensions are so vulgar! :icon8:

#35 Simon G

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:41 PM

Christian,

You're going to hate me for saying this, but... I don't think Valdes is much of a ballerina. She is a phenomenal powerhouse, her core strength is probably the best in the world, her ability to turn is superhuman, as are her balances, but Obraztsova just knocks her out of the ballpark in terms of dance quality, musicality, and dance.

I agree that Valdes is just totally enthralling to watch her pull of her cunning stunts, it's the moments between those stunts, when dance should happen that are lacking for me.

#36 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 03:37 PM

Christian,

You're going to hate me for saying this, but... I don't think Valdes is much of a ballerina. She is a phenomenal powerhouse, her core strength is probably the best in the world, her ability to turn is superhuman, as are her balances, but Obraztsova just knocks her out of the ballpark in terms of dance quality, musicality, and dance.

I agree that Valdes is just totally enthralling to watch her pull of her cunning stunts, it's the moments between those stunts, when dance should happen that are lacking for me.


Of course I won't hate you, Simon...far from that... :flowers: . But my problem is a simple one. When a RA is about to start, I'm already in the expectation of well executed, nailed balances...(and for some reason I suspect everyone else too). Now, if right away I come across with something like those Obraztsova's unfortunate stumbling moments...well, then the magic of what Petipa intended with the step is gone. Those are things that one can let pass if watching an icon, a veteran ballerina who still performs, for which one will be looking at other details-(usually in the artistry area)- that will certainly make up for the lack of technique-(that happened to me recently with Kent's Giselle). Here is another example.



But for a young starlet...? Not acceptable.

Same with Kitri's 32 fouettes, for example.



#37 Simon G

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:05 PM

I think the problem is a great deal of the time cultural. The Russians seem to omit the au couronne frequently, or always (I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong) even sterling technicians like Vishneva do so.

Also that video of Kirkland really has to be seen as a curiosity not indicative of her technique, she was extremely weak and sick at Wolftrap when that was filmed, gripped by anorexia. Her lack of strength is palpable. For a much better snippet of what she was about the minute of Giselle on Youtube is pretty sensational, not least for how she comes out of the arabesque penchee while still on point.

Kolpakova was another of those Russians who really should have given up the great classical roles a great deal earlier than she did, she kept dancing another decade after that film was taken, but then again in Communist Russia there really wasn't the repertory to choose from to age gracefully in.

The au couronne balances are a funny one, often seen as being the benchmark of a ballerina, but like fouettes have little to do with artistry and can be pulled off by a technically able student while tormenting brilliant ballerinas with their failure to pull them out of the bag. Fonteyn, who was by no means a technical genius like Valdes has the best balances in the world in Rose Adagio, yet balance and turning which often goes hand in hand didn't with her. Her fouettes were famously capricious.

Actually if you want a pleasent surprise look out for the videos of Somova on Youtube taken this past year, she's really really toned down her extremities and done a great deal of work, she's almost a completely changed dancer. I mean, I'll never think she's a ballerina, but she has improved radically.

#38 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:20 PM

I totally agree with all your above statements: Kirkland's technical decline due to illness, Kolpakova's passed her prime, Fonteyn inability to nail perfect 32 fouettes and even Somova's improvement-(which I observed in her Giselle's solo a while ago). Now, that's exactly my point. Valdes excels in ALL THAT, and even if I admit that she's not the best actress or the most refined ballerina, I don't think she's in the very back of the line either. On top of everything, she's someone that can assure you a very EXCITING night at the ballet, backed by a SOLID TECHNIQUE, and not merely on little stunts like Somova's extensions. Now, just as you pointed at other directions on Somova, I want to invite you to watch Valdes in another tour de force. Giselle. I don't think she does it too bad... :thumbsup:

Spessivtseva's solo.



Madness scene.



#39 richard53dog

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 06:54 AM

I think the problem is a great deal of the time cultural. The Russians seem to omit the au couronne frequently, or always (I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong) even sterling technicians like Vishneva do so.




I've noticed too that a lot of versions done by Russian dancers don't do the au couronne either.

What may explain that was something I read many, many years ago. This is sort of unsubstantiated, and I apologize for that, but the gist of the article was that Fonteyn more or less introduced the au couronne to the Rose Adagio when Sadler's Wells first staged Sleeping Beauty back in the 1930s. And that production introduced and defined the ballet for much of the West. On the other hand, the Russians had a performance tradition that went back to an earlier day and certainly wouldn't feel obliged to add something that originated elsewhere (although they freely added anachronistic details of their own from time to time)

I'm not sure this explains this particular detail it does make for a showier touch.

#40 Helene

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 09:17 AM

Wouldn't Fonteyn have learned au couronne from Volkova, though?

#41 richard53dog

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 09:47 AM

Wouldn't Fonteyn have learned au couronne from Volkova, though?



The article I described really only mentioned the Fonteyn and the au couronne in the RA in a fleeting way. And I don't remember much about the source of the article , which is why I mentioned it sort of cautiously. All I've retained is the comment of "Fonteyn being the first one to make a crown in the Rose Adagio balances" or something like that.

But I agree she would have learned it or coached it from someone and your suggestion of Volkova is likely. She may not have actually been the first ballerina to do it, there's really nothing new under the sun anyway. But it may be fairer to claim she made the combination widely known and fixed in Western ballet goers idea of what the RA should look like.

#42 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:48 PM



#43 aurora

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:04 PM



one of my favorite clips ever, if only because the beauty of Gregory as Aurora was so unexpected to me. She is such a mature adult dancer that her triumph as a 16 year old princess was priceless. Also, the balances!

#44 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:34 PM

Ah...just as Spessivtseva with the set of fish dives in the Adagio, added for her when she danced the role in Diaghilev's production...(at least according to Danilova's memoirs...). Well...isn't that also something we all expect nowadays...? I've also noticed the Russians omit them too in their productions... :(

#45 Gina Ness

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:23 PM

Yay!!! Thank you, Mme. Hermine, for posting Cynthia Gregory's Rose Adagio. I almost did the other day! One of my favorite dancers of all time! She is the complete package in this clip...So charming, technically gorgeous without tutus flopping onto the back of her head with an unattractively high arabesque and an a la seconde develope so high that it looks bizarre with a classical tutu (Somova). Cynthia...a class act, so to speak! In total agreement, aurora...:)


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