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Toughest Evening Length Ballet for Male Principal?

Which of these ballets do you think is the hardest for a male dancer to perform?   32 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these ballets do you think is the hardest for a male dancer to perform?

    • Don Quixote
      6
    • Swan Lake
      3
    • La Bayadere
      1
    • Giselle
      7
    • Spartacus
      11
    • La Sylphide
      4

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18 posts in this topic

I thought now would be a good time for a companion poll to our "Toughest ballet for a ballerina" topic. Which leading role from the above ballets is the hardest on its male lead? What makes it more difficult than other ballets?

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I chose 'La Sylphide' because (for me) all is lost if the technique is not pure, clean and precise.

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I am missing the button for the "other" check box ...

My vote would be Spartacus: there is so much powerful dancing in it - tremendous jumps, turnings, press-lifts ... and the hero has to bridge the gap between war-scenes and the more lyrical ones to be convincing.

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I'm withholding my vote (but not my opinion :wink: ) until I think things over a bit more thoroughly.

La Sylphide: ATM makes an important point, except James doesn't have to do any heavy lifting, which can drain stamina.

Don Quixote: Basil has lots of strenuous partnering, as well as big, heroic jumps, etc.

Sleeping Beauty: Desire doesn't even appear until halfway through the darned thing.

:beg:

Dachnitsa may have fingered the real toughie, but it's not as prominent in the US balleto's mind as the other options BalletNut offers.

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I think there should be an "Other" choice. If there was I'd vote "Other" for James in Lacotte's reimagined Sylphide.

It's an hour and a half long and he dances at least 45 minutes. Beats, jumps, everything and he's not spared the lifts. Wrong for the period, entertaining for the audience, exhausting for the dancer. I get tired just looking at him :beg:

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I picked Spartacus, after a recent re-viewing of the Mukhamedov performance on video. But chrisk217 is very persuasive about James in the Lacotte Sylphide

The first is big, athletic, obviously requiring great stamina. The other demands speed, lightness, and strength of a rather different sort.

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Again, I choose Giselle. It's deceptive, but the partnering is incredibly difficult, and all of it must be so perfect that it's extremely draining.

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I went for Don Q. Busy, busy, busy. But Hans makes a convincing case for Giselle, too. Especially tough because of the working of mime into actual technical dancing, even though most of what we see today comes down to us through a Petipa filter.

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Thank you BalletNut for adding the Spartacus option !

Greetings from Moscow

dachnitsa

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The two that came immediately to mind after Spartacus, would be MacMillan's Manon or Romeo and Juliet.

any thoughts?

Kelly aire

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Welcome to Ballet Talk, Kellyaire. I hope you'll find your way onto our Welcome forum so we can get to know you better. :angry2: Anyway, MacMillan's ballets do seem to have their fair share of lifts, don't they? Unfortunately, there are only so many slots that the software will give you for polls!

You're welcome, dachnitsa. :yucky: Now I'm interested to see Spartacus. (I presume we're talking about the Grigorovitch version, correct?)

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I voted for Spartacus from this list, and I also thought of Mayerling, which looked very intense and arduous.

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Spartacus gets my vote. One handed lifts and a few thousand jumps has got to be hard.

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It's interesting to read these polls and see what those of us who have danced think vs. the audience's point of view--just goes to show you how difficult it is to make things look easy. :angry2:

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I'm with Hans --

If you want to see something made to look impossibly easy, check out Vasiliev and Maximova in Giselle -- he lifts her overhead again and again as if she were weightless. The Soviet version of the Act 2 pas de deux is as heroic as Spartacus, but none of the effort can show, you can't even THINK of it, and all you see is her trajectory.....

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I am with Paul and Hans.

I remember Alicia Alonso saying that Albrecht was a very difficult role for the male partner (I heard it from herself at a master class I attended back in 1991 in Buenos Aires). I think Also Anton Dolin suggests the same in his book "pas de deux", if memory serves me well.

I would add that the hands should not be seen as "gripping" Giselle, as she is a spirit.

Also I very much admire Vassiliev and Maximova in second act pdd - it is just incredible

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